Valley woman who couldn't walk enters Two Cities Marathon
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When a young Fresno woman lines up for the "Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon" this Sunday in north Fresno, she will be in the race of her life. Amanda Armstrong, 25, didn't know if she'd be able to walk two years ago.
Three days a week Amanda Armstrong takes to the streets of Fresno to clock anywhere from three to twelve miles, but those miles can be grueling, taking hours to complete.
Amanda explained, "There's days where everything is great and everything is good and there's no pain in my foot and there's days I wake up and my ankle's swollen and I have a lot of scar tissue and there's days where it's hard to walk."
Two years ago an abnormal growth on her middle toe turned out to be a cancerous tumor. The cancer was not treatable with chemotherapy, surgery was the only option.
Armstrong said, "They tell you 'well we could take this many toes or it could be half of your foot.' As a 23 year old, I'm thinking I have my whole life ahead of me."
Her surgeon was able to save her foot, but had to remove her middle toe and the attached foot bone. Radiation therapy damaged the nerves on the bottom of her foot. On bad days she says it feels like she's walking on rocks.
Nevertheless, Armstrong wanted to join several women from her church who are both running and walking the whole or the half marathon on Sunday.
Armstrong wanted to run, but severe pain forced her to pull back in her training. She's realized walking a half marathon will be an accomplishment in and of itself, something she once thought she'd never do again.
Armstrong said, "Yeah there's probably going to be a little bit of pain, and come mile seven when the pain starts to set into my foot. But I can do it, I can finish it because I have the ability to walk."
The ability to walk, something she says she will never take for granted.
sports, liz harrison
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