Celebrating the Power of the Human Spirit

October 07, 2019 - Diversity & Inclusion DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

Meet the heroes who exemplify Hope & Possibility

The participants in the 2019 Achilles Hope & Possibility Road Race were true champions even before they arrived at the starting line.

The event took place in New York City's Central Park on June 23, and it is among the world's largest road races to bring together athletes both with and without disabilities. The life stories of many participants in the road race sponsored by TD Bank show them beating what appeared to be insurmountable odds – such as Cedric King, who lost both his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan.

"This race is a celebration. It helped put me back together again," Cedric said. "Just because you got knocked down, didn't mean you got knocked out."

Inspired by The New York Times bestselling memoir, I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope & Possibility, by Trisha Meili, the race was founded on the conviction that athletic competition unites people of all abilities. She said running in Hope & Possibility was instrumental in helping her reclaim her life from the severe injuries of her attack.

"Hope & Possibility represents the core … to see what is possible for each and every one of us," said. Tyrell Schmidt, TD's Global Brand and Customer Experience Officer, based in Toronto. She served as a guide to a visionally impaired participant.

Dick Traum is a successful business entrepreneur and the first amputee to complete a marathon. He founded the Achilles Track Club, which is now Achilles International. The organization's mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events.

"We've given people with disabilities a chance to achieve," Dick said.

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