Maria Papalia Meier had sepsis from which she almost died and ultimately had to have all her toes amputated. She was a runner and will always be a runner but that was not a forgone conclusion as she battled a very serious case of sepsis. In Maria’s own words:
Sometimes things happen in our lives that we didn’t plan for and it changes our path. For me that happened on June 18, 2014 , just a few weeks after my 40th birthday. I went into Septic Shock from a strep infection that I didn’t know I had. I spent a little over 7 weeks in the hospital/rehab, two of those weeks were in a medically induced coma. In October of 2014, due to some of the meds I was given in the hospital, I had to have my toes amputated .
As a runner, being told that running just wasn’t going to happen for me, that I should find a different sport, devastated me. As runners know, once a runner, always a runner. I didn’t know how I would get there, but I knew one day I would make it happen. Which is why, as I do set out to run my first marathon, I want to raise money for the “Who Says I Can’t” Foundation.
The foundation was created to help those struck down with a disability get back into the activities they enjoyed prior to their disability. Not all insurance companies cover what someone would need in order to get back into the sport/activity they love. After going thru something life changing one thing you yearn for is to get back to “normal” even if it is a “new normal”. I will never forget my first real run after my amputations. I felt like me again. Running is not only a physical activity I enjoyed, it as also a very social activity. Running was a conversation starter, a way to meet new people.
I want to help others get that “feeling” back. Whether they were a runner, biker, skier, swimmer, hiker or any other physical activity they once enjoyed. You can read thru the stories on the WSICF website and see all the amazing people they have been able to help. Knowing that fundraising for this foundation will help keep me focused and motivated to reach my ultimate goal of 26.2 miles.
You can follow my journey on #thetoelessrunner.com.
Unfortunately we did not make it into the lotto for the #Chicago Marathon , but we will have a plan B to run another marathon in October.
Please help Maria and her team help the foundation work with the next person who needs to get back into a sport to rebuild their self-esteem.
Maria’s team goal is to raise $10,000 for WSICF. Please support her and support us with a generous donation.