Paralyzed runner spreads hope through half marathons - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Paralyzed runner spreads hope through half marathons

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By Abbey Niezgoda

aniezgoda@abc6.com

For Beth Deloria, the paralyzing news came when she was 38 years old. There was no accident, no traumatic event, just a surgery for back pain that led to the discovery of birth defects, and a foot she could no longer feel.  

"My world just stopped," Deloria said. "And I thought what do you mean the feeling in my leg might not come back?"

The avid runner and North Carolina native tried boots and canes, but hope was running out to run again. Two years later, her doctor slipped on a brace from Allard that would forever change the course.  

"He could not contain me," Deloria said. "I was running out of the office and I ran into the parking lot. It was that great." 

It was so great that she decided to spread the message about the ToeOFF brace by running 22 half marathons across the country. Along the way, people have started to listen.  

"I ran with two women who found the brace, so three of us were running together with paralyzed ankles," Deloria said. "It was incredible."

Deloria will complete her 13th race at the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon in Providence this weekend, but she says it is not so much about crossing the finish line, as it is about being able to start.

"I just celebrate that moment because I feel like I've already won the race."

To follow Deloria's journey, log on to her blog: http://getbackuptoday.blogspot.com/

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