Burrillville man running to inspire others

 

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BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WLNE-TV)—  In April 2017 Austin Prario set out to prove he could do something his doctors told his parents would be impossible— run the Boston Marathon. He crossed the finish line becoming the first person to ever complete the course with just 3 heart chambers.

Nearly 2 years after celebrating on Boylston Street and he’s training once again as part of the Boston Children’s Hospital ‘Miles for Miracles’ team.

“My motivation this time is defiantly kids with congenital heart defects,” said the Burrillville man.

Having had 3 open heart surgeries, the first when he was less than a week old, Prario knows first hand the challenges those patients live with.

“It was difficult growing up with it. Just to realize you’re a little bit different than everybody,” he explained. “But the biggest thing is that I realized that it doesn’t define my life.”

Prario is now turning to social media in the hopes of inspiring others to run the race with him. He posted a video asking that if anyone knows a child with a congenital heart defect to please send him a picture. He plans to include them on his jersey.

The response to his request has been greater than he ever imagined. In just a few weeks time hundreds of families have already reached out.

“There are kids all over the country sending these in. It’s so cool to see,” said Prario.

So many have connected with him that Prario may actually have to come up with another way to carry them all with him come race day, but he’s got time to figure that out. Until then, the bigger picture is keeping him grounded.

“My dad showed me 20 years before I ran it that I could do it and hopefully I can have that same touch on someone else’s life,” he said.

He’ll get that opportunity come April 15th.

To connect with Austin, e-mail him at: aprario1119@gmail.com

Or to donate to the cause click here.

© WLNE-TV 2018