I mentioned in yesterday's post about my experience at the White Rock Marathon that I had seen a number of inspiring runners, particularly the lady with the prosthesis pushing the little girl in a wheelchair. I did a little digging and found out more about them, and now I am even more moved, so I thought I'd share it here.
Amy Palmiero-Winters, a high school swimmer and runner, lost her leg due to a motorcycle accident in her early 20s. Determined to keep competing, she was fitted for a prosthesis and continued to race. She now holds a bucket full of world records for amputee athletes, but competes with the rest as well. In October she was the overall female winner in Heartland 100 Mile Endurance Run! She competes around the country and frequently visits children who have lost limbs.
When she came to town for White Rock, she paid a visit to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, which is the beneficiary of the White Rock Marathon. While there, she met Ryanne Carr of Mineola. Ryanne's right hand and legs were severed while she was still in utero. The Carr family adopted Ryanne, one of 4 children born in Kazakhstan and adopted by them.
Amy asked Ryanne if she would like Amy to push her in her wheelchair for the marathon, and Ryanne jumped at the chance. Amy pushed her most of the race, but down the homestretch Ryanne switched to her racing wheelchair so she could finish under her own power. In my passing meeting with them, I could tell both ladies were joyful to be on the course. Ryanne has been fitted with prosthetic legs and has begun running in races on her own; I won't be surprised to see her racing at White Rock on prosthetic legs in a few years! My guess would be that she has a new role model in Amy to look up to.
In yesterday's post, I made the comment, "What a blessing to be able to run!" I can't even begin to understand that blessing. What a blessing for Amy and for Ryanne. Amy and Ryanne, I will probably never meet you, but you are both on my hero list now! Thanks for the inspiration!
A video interview with Amy, including clips from the marathon here.
Story in the Dallas Morning News here.
Story about Amy, a Runner's World 2007 Hero of Running here.