From hospital bed to Boston Marathon
PHILADELPHIA - April 18, 2011 (WPVI) -- Candace Gantt of Berwyn took part in the Boston Marathon, a grueling 26.2 miles, and is all smiles.
"I never thought I'd see the day. I never thought I'd see the Boston Marathon," Gantt said.
Six years ago, the idea that Candace would be anywhere but in a hospital bed seemed a lot like wishful thinking.
In July of 2005, the avid athlete was riding her bike, training for a triathlon, when a construction truck hit her, physically shattering her skull, metaphorically shattering much more.
She was told then she'd never talk again, and maybe worse for this woman, she'd never walk, or run again.
That was then.
Now she was running on two legs that shouldn't have moved, amidst of crowd of massive proportions in Boston.
"It just carries you. You're so engaged, so excited about being there," Gantt said.
For Candace, the 26 miles before the finish line, though far from easy, was nothing in comparison to the long, all uphill journey to the starting line.
It was an effort guided by doctors at Penn's Center for Brain Injury and witnessed by her loving husband Russ.
"First came the physical recovery, then the cognition, the mental recovery. And I think it's been step by step, but rewarding for us and the entire family," Russ Gantt said.
The race was won by a Kenyan named Geoffrey Mutai. With a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds, not only was his the fastest time ever for the Boston Marathon, it was the fastest marathon ever run anywhere.
But time aside, what Candace Gantt accomplished beat that performance, by a mile. And she's not quite finished yet.
"[Next,] I have a half Iron Man in June," Gantt said.
That's 70 miles, but for her, just another step on the road back.
"Every day you've got to get up and think you can do it," Gantt said.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, boston, chester county, local/state, brian taff
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