One-legged runner trains for marathon, working to inspire others

MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) – A Menasha woman who lost a leg just days after birth is one of thousands of people who will be participating in this weekend’s Fox Cities Marathon.

She’s doing it in part with the help of myTeam Triumph.

Over the past several months, Jana Smith has been training for the 5K portion of the Fox Cities Marathon this Saturday.

Despite the loss of her right leg from a blood clot just three days after being born, she’s always been an athlete.

Smith said, “I’ve been coming to weekly training runs and it’s worked out really well. I’ve got some angels, some of them are therapists, and they’ve kind of kept me on track, and then sometimes depending on what my body can handle we would meet other times throughout the week and just keep running.”

Smith decided to participate in the marathon after moving to the Fox Valley just recently.

She’s one of many participants working with myTeam Triumph, -an organization which works to promote the health and well-being of the disabled by matching them with a group of non-disabled volunteers to assist them with athletic challenges.

“It’s an amazing organization that helps people to become, to do what they want to do, and to reach some goals that they want to reach,” said Dawn Pieper, a myTeam Triumph volunteer.

By participating, Smith hopes to inspire others who have disabilities.

She says the goal isn’t so much about the time as it is to cross the finish line.

“I just want to get out there, have fun and motivate people and let them know that there is no limits. You can do whatever you can do as long as it’s to the best of your ability,” said Smith.

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