Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada patients Jeffrey, 19, born with one foot and one hand, and Marc-Étienne, 20, born with one leg shorter than the other, will try the Spartan Race Beast at Highlands Nordic
on Saturday, September 8th
"Many people are shocked to learn I have done 13 Spartan Races," says Jeffrey, 19, born without a right hand or right foot. "But obstacles are how you see them and how much effort you put into overcoming them. I want to tell Canadians to see obstacles in Spartan Races and in life as opportunities to prove and improve yourself," he adds.
Spartan Races are known as some of the world's most difficult obstacle races as they are usually at mountains and require participants to not only complete tough obstacles but run up and down a mountain several times. There are Spartan Race Sprints (5+ km, 20-23 obstacles), Supers (13+ km, 24-29 obstacles) and Beasts (20+ km, 30-35 obstacles). "I've done one Beast so far, two years ago, and it was so hard! I was exhausted, and it took over 13 hours." Jeffrey will be running the race with his father, Patrick; his grand-father, Jean, 61; his brother Benjamin; his cousin, Dany; and his friends Michel and Zach.
Marc-Étienne, 20, has completed 7 Spartan Races, but never a Beast! A patient at Canada Shriners Hospital since the age of 5 months, Marc-Étienne was born with his right leg shorter than his left. Whereas doctors at other hospitals had suggested amputation, Canada Shriners Hospital proposed leg lengthening. Marc-Étienne has undergone 15 surgeries at the hospital and has come for physiotherapy 3 times a week most of his life, but it has worked: he can now finish Spartan Races! "I want to give back to the hospital that helped me so much by fundraising through Spartan Races, so that others can benefit from the great care I did," he says.
Both patients are raising funds to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada, a national pediatric hospital specialized in orthopaedic and neuromuscular disorders. In Jeffrey's case, he's trying to raise another $10,000 for the hospital. Jeffrey and his family raised that amount for the hospital by doing Spartan Races two years ago as well.