Miracles happen every day. When you open your eyes a bit larger and your heart a bit wider, you'll find that the people that surround you are miraculous. Accomplishing goals we set, healing from things we thought we couldn't have, and handling life's obstacles with grace are what makes human beings resilient. Each one of us is a small miracle in itself.
When life gets tough, it's hard to believe that we can persevere. The story of this inspiring man can teach us that each day we have the power to wake up and make the impossible, possible.
Not all superheroes wear capes. Role models and inspirations are those we look up to because of their struggles that reveal their strength. Similar to the way that people look up to their mothers, their teachers, and their favorite celebrities—sometimes the stories of complete strangers can transform to become our biggest inspirations.
Greg Gerardy is just a regular man, but his story is one that is unforgettable. At only 29 years old, this man from Oklahoma City was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. But he wouldn't let it stop him from accomplishing even his biggest, grandest dreams.
A Rare Diagnosis
Believing he had a pinched nerve, Gerardy began seeing various doctors to determine the source of his pain. At 29, he was further diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. A "tentacle-like" tumor that affected both his neck and his spine.
Although this diagnosis was terrifying news, Greg remained strong when undergoing surgery to remove the mass. Unfortunately, the cancer would not lose it's fight there. Greg's strength and braveness in his medical journey as a three-time cancer survivor is a testimony to the human ability to create our own fate.
Something Greater In Store
As Greg continued to fight this battle, his light at the end of the tunnel was thinking about doing what he loved most. When the doctors discovered that his right lung was paralyzed following his surgery, he was told devastating news. "That's one of the first things doctors say ... You'll never run a marathon again."
Throughout the following years, the universe was not on Greg's side. Healing his body, adapting to his new condition, and going through a divorce left Greg in great emotional pain.
Never Giving Up
Through the turmoil this man was faced with, his pride in being both a father and a runner motivated him to turn his life back around. Refusing to throw away his passions, Greg began pushing himself to little by little, reunite with his past self, "I challenged myself to see what I could do."
Greg's guardian angels gave him the gifts of strength and love. He remarried, and performed numerous physical accomplishments. His goal is to inspire others who face debilitating diseases and disabilities.
Setting A Good Example
Even with one working lung, Gerardy proved himself to be a stellar athlete. Completing the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for the fifth time is impressive. But, running it as a cancer survivor is something he is even more proud of.
Besides proving to himself that he can do whatever he sets his mind to, Greg was happy to be able to set a good example for his children and people nationwide. "If someone tells me it can't be done I want to prove them wrong," he hopes that in the face of challenge, others will find the strength to try their best.
Small And Big Wins
Gerardy would not let a lack of belief or a rut of self-pity let him lead a life that he didn't desire. When healing, every bit of improvement is a small win, "You get used to it and listen to your body."
Crossing the finish line at the end of a marathon means that you did it. It means being proud, joyful, and thankful to yourself. Greg is an angel in disguise, working hard to prove that no disability should rob you of passion and happiness, "We can still do these things. There's no reason people should give up hope".
You Can Accomplish Anything!
Life is an uphill battle, and there's always going to be another mountain that we will have to climb. The trials and tribulations of human nature can bring us down. But, it's these very moments that expose the true strength and power of our character.
The story of Greg Gerardy teaches us to treat every new obstacle as a challenge that we are strong enough to face. Never give up on your dreams, because with a little help from the universe, they are never out of reach!