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Former runner takes on 5K 9 years after tragic accident

On July 27, 2009, Stormy Cushing was on her option to cheerleading conditioning, about to fulfill buddies as they received prepared for his or her senior yr of highschool. She not solely cheered, however ran cross nation in center college and varsity observe in highschool, and Stormy was able to tackle one other yr of athletics at River Valley Excessive College in Caledonia, Ohio. However one thing occurred that may take Stormy completely off observe.

Quick ahead to Sunday, September 24, 2017, Stormy was again on a working course. Now 25, she was in a wheelchair as two firefighters and different teammates pushed her for three.1 miles on the Crew Coronary heart & Sole Marion Presidential 5K.

No, it wasn’t fairly the identical freedom or feeling she had working along with her friends in highschool. However after eight years of rigorous bodily and neurological remedy, Stormy was simply excited to be exterior, racing once more.

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“It was great,” Stormy stated. “The wind and the solar was in my hair, similar to after I used to run in observe.”

That summer time afternoon eight years in the past, Stormy’s automotive collided with a bike inflicting her automobile to flip a number of occasions. Firefighters pulled her from the wreckage, uncertain of her prognosis.

Marsha Cushing, Stormy’s mother, stated it has been a “sluggish and regular course of” for the reason that accident, which put her in a coma for six weeks and within the hospital for six months. For the primary six months, she stayed by her daughter’s facet, ready patiently for her to return out of a coma.

As soon as she emerged, Stormy needed to relearn the whole lot, together with consuming and speaking. Early on, the medical doctors really helpful admitting her right into a nursing residence, however her mother and father refused. As a substitute, they sought assist from Nationwide Youngsters’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the place employees taught them methods to take care of Stormy so she may dwell at residence.

Stormy busies herself each week with bodily remedy, together with three days every week at Ohio Well being, water remedy on Fridays, and neuromuscular reduction each different Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Stormy and her household work with specialists to make each day routines for them to do at residence. Cushing is aware of the rigorous coaching and assist from medical doctors and bodily therapists, together with Stormy’s tenacious spirit, helps her overcome the obstacles she faces daily.

“That is what’s received her this far, the best therapists alongside the best way who had been so intentional with Stormy, thought exterior the field, and gave us stuff to work on,” Cushing stated. “When she first got here residence, she could not transfer both of her palms or legs. They had been actually tight and actually drawn up. Now she has full management over her proper hand, has began to bend her proper leg, and is getting extra motion along with her different leg and left arm arm.”

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A pal of the Cushing household informed Coronary heart & Sole, a non-profit group that helps folks with disabilities take part in athletics, about Stormy. The group supplied to pay her entry payment and offered a particular working wheelchair.

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“[Heart & Sole] mainly contacted us and stated, ‘Present up right here,'” Cushing stated. “And we confirmed up. They’re great, and you may inform the volunteers’ hearts are really on this. It was actually superior attending to see [Stormy] have a glimpse of her previous life once more.”

After the 5K, Stormy is just decided to do extra. She plans on doing three extra Coronary heart & Sole races earlier than the tip of the yr. By means of persevering with intense bodily remedy, Stormy hopes to stroll down the aisle at her sister’s marriage ceremony in March with the least quantity of assist attainable.

After that? She’s simply going to maintain dreaming of working once more, and taking one step at a time to get there.

“She’s stated to me a number of occasions, ‘Within the morning after I stand up, will you assist me rise up? As a result of I need to attempt to run,'” Cushing stated. “I am at all times like, ‘Stormy, do not you suppose it is best to attempt to stroll first?’ And he or she says, ‘No, I need to run tomorrow. I need to run after I stand up.'”

This text first appeared on Runner’s World.

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