People living with ALS inspire us every day. From communicating and interacting with the world around them to working demanding jobs and even writing books, it seems there is nothing people with ALS cannot do. One woman is even tackling the great physical feat of completing the 26.2 miles that comprise a marathon — despite having ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that affects around 30,000 Americans at any given time. Because the disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, people with ALS are often unable to participate in activities they enjoyed previously, whether it’s walking, talking, or even – running a marathon.
Eight years ago, Denise Dimarco was diagnosed with ALS, but at the 2014 Boston Marathon, she crossed the finish line. Denise’s husband, Chris Benyo, pushed Dimarco in a special jogger the entire 26.2 miles. Chris is an experienced runner, and he wanted to finish the race with his wife, who relies on assistive technology, such as a motorized wheelchair to get around and a computer to speak (similar to our Eyegaze Edge eye tracking device).
“We run together no matter what the situation,” said Chris.
They finished the race – together – in four hours and 36 minutes.
After completing the marathon in Boston, the couple headed to The New Jersey Marathon for a repeat performance.
“Hopefully we can bring some greater awareness to this awful disease,” said Chris.