Mary McManus, motivational speaker, author, poet, 2009 Boston Marathon finisher, polio and trauma survivor has a remarkable story of resilience, healing, hope and possibilities. She recently spoke with award winning journalist, Liz Brunner now CEO of Brunner Communications about how she lives her best life despite the challenges she experienced from an early age.
Mary contracted paralytic polio in one of the last polio epidemics in the United States. She endured years of abuse at the hands of family members from the age of 8 until 17 when her father ended his life.
At the age of 53 years old, she was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease and was told to prepare to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
Mary refused to take the diagnosis sitting down. Her pen became her divining rod for healing harnessing the power of the mind/body connection through poetry. She embarked on a journey that took her from taking a leap of faith leaving behind her award winning career as a VA social worker to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon, and many adventures as a woman transformed through the sport of running. Out of the rubble of her past, Mary dug deep to discover the treasure of who she was always meant to be. Her Spirit shines with brilliant resilience as she conquered every challenge going the distance on the roads and in her life.
Mary is the author of Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life, her Trilogy of Transformation that chronicles her health and wellness journey and Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays from the 2020 Pandemic.
Mary holds a BS in Communications from Boston University, an MSW from Boston College and many fond memories of her veterans and their families who blessed her life when she worked at the VA. She lives in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts with her husband, Tom of over 40 years, and their lovely cat Jamie. They are the proud parents of 34 year old twins, Ruth Anne and Autumn.
Be sure to follow her blog at Hope is a Garden
Her books are available on Amazon
Here’s the link to her YouTube channel