Marquette native Beth Deloria has been running her whole life. But Beth's running future changed when she suddenly collapsed in her kitchen.
What she thought was a minor spinal problem requiring simple surgery turned out to be a much bigger problem involving nine hours of surgery.
"I came out with a paralyzed ankle, even though they stabilized my spine. They didn't know if I'd ever recover from the paralysis. It's called foot drop. And so, at that point, I was pretty much told that my running days were over," said Deloria.
But Beth made it a point to keep on going, determined to find a way to run again.
"I saw a sign in my doctor's office that said: 'Fall seven times, get up eight.' So I said, okay, it doesn't matter how many times I fall, as long as I make sure that I take responsibility for getting myself back up. And after all that time, I finally found a brace made in Sweden, but they have a headquarters in New Jersey here in the U.S., and they sent me a brace. And I tried it on, and burst out crying. And my doctor thought, oh no, this is not going to work either, I'm sorry, we'll keep trying. And instead, I told him, no, I think this is different," Deloria said.
Beth is now Manager of Community Outreach for Allard USA, the company that manufactures the ToeOFF brace she uses for mobility. She visits others around the nation who are struggling with disabilities affecting their mobility.
Beth travelled to Bay Cliff Health Camp Tuesday to share her story with the campers and pass along her mantra, Get Back Up, encouraging everyone to keep trying.
"Having Beth come here, it really helps me to show the kids that I'm not just up here to make these fun activities, but also to show them that they are very important to us, they are important to themselves, and just show that they can do it," said Mary Leopold, Program Director for Bay Cliff Health Camp.
Between last year and this year, Beth's goal is to run 48 races in 24 months, all across the nation!
So Beth is continuing to run towards her future.