After writing the poem, "Running the Race," poetry poured out of Mary inspiring mind, body and soul to heal from the devastating effects of paralytic polio and trauma. In February of 2008, she declared to her personal trainer that she did indeed want to run the race and not just any race! She set her intentions on running the 2009 Boston Marathon to raise money for Spaulding Rehab Hospital where she took the first steps on her healing journey.
Even though Mary had never run a day in her life, she watched "Forrest Gump" and wrote poetry about running free and unencumbered reclaiming her life from the thieves who tried to steal her life away from her. The body cannot distinguish between what the mind imagines and what the body is doing. The mental rehearsal for dancing in the rain without a leg brace, feeling whole and happy, free from the shackles of her past manifested in her body as she and the whole world witnessed healing right before their very eyes.
Over thirteen years after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, Mary is still running strong and encouraging others to exceed their limits. She received a standing ovation after her speech at the Hyannis Marathon Weekend Pre-Race Pasta Dinner. Bill Rodgers praised her for her strength and courage. He encouraged runners to be inspired by her incredible journey.