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Runner Left Paralysed After Sexual Assault Completes Marathon On Crutches

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Runner Left Paralysed After Sexual Assault Completes Marathon On Crutches

Two years ago Hannah Gavios fractured her spine after falling 150ft as she attempted to escape from a sex attacker.

Incredibly, yesterday, she chose to 'crutch' the entire 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon.

The 25-year-old achieved the near-impossible in 11 hours, completing the feat shortly after 8pm. What an accomplishment.

Although many of the runners had finished long before Hannah, she was still greeted by a huge crowd waiting for her at the finish line.

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Credit: Team Reeve
Credit: Team Reeve

Speaking to the New York Post, she said: "I didn't expect this many people. It just shows my city has my back.

"My city is awesome, waiting for me here - I don't know how long everyone waited for me - it just means so much to me that you guys stayed. Thank you."

A fortnight ago, courageous Hannah told the NY Post that she was participating in the event because she was 'going to be a functioning human'.

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"I don't want to feel like I'm left behind," she said.

The attack, which took place in Thailand on 1 September 2016, left Hannah without feeling in her feet of ankles.

She had asked a local man for directions to a hotel - but instead found herself having to run away and off a cliff edge, falling 150ft and breaking her back before waiting eight hours to be rescued.

Credit: ESPN
Credit: ESPN
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Hannah chose to 'crutch' the marathon to raise money for spinal cord research through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

She wrote on Team Reeve: "This research will give us answers on ways we can connect the damaged telephone cord, so that messages will seamlessly transfer from the brain to the rest of the body.

"These messages allow us to do every day things we take for granted, such as walking, breathing and going to the bathroom. When the brain is unable to send signals due to a damaged spinal cord, one cannot experience any of this properly.

"Your donations will help solve the mystery of paralysis that 5.4 million Americans including myself today are affected by. This year I am crutching the marathon, but soon you'll see me running it."

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She has raised a total of $19,600 (£15,000) with one person writing to her to say: "Hannah, I saw you racing throughout yesterday's race. Your focus and determination was f---ing palpable! All the best achieving your charity goal, girl! So proud of you!"

Another added: "Such a model of inspiration in the face of adversity - best wishes for continued recovery!"

With a third commenting: "To honor my brother, a former marathoner. Two years ago a freak accident left him with quadriplegia. God bless you, Hannah."

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What a woman she is.

Featured Image Credit: ESPN

Topics: Marathon, Inspirational, Community

Rebecca Shepherd
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