In 1996, doctors discovered I had a leaking heart valve and a widened aorta, which meant that I couldn't participate in a lot of sports I loved. Since I liked to stay active, I took up running.
Despite my heart condition, in 2006, I started training to take part in my first marathon – the New York City marathon. Unfortunately, my condition worsened and I had to undergo surgery. I was unable to run in New York as planned.
The operation and recovery were tough times but I overcame this and went on to run my first marathon in Chicago in October 2007. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to run several marathons. The year 2016 was significant since it marked 10 years since my heart surgery prevented me from running in New York. Sadly, it’s also been 10 years since my father passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.
So in November 2016, I finally took part in the New York City Marathon while also raising funds for Alzheimer’s Foundation. It was a truly amazing and emotional experience.
I’m thrilled that I could continue running and participate in several marathons around the world since recovering from my heart surgery.
I want to keep on running as long as I can. Stories of people who never gave up and beat the odds despite difficult situations and personal problems inspire me to run. This year I’ll finish with a huge smile on my face!