"My why is bigger than myself. My why is for all the people I’m racing for and raising funds for. My why is for all the angels on my angel list. And my why is for everyone that’s been told they can’t do something. Because who says you can’t?"
Last month, professional runner Keira D'Amato hosted a week's worth of giveaways on Instagram. The fifth and final prize: an appearance on the Ali on the Run Show! The giveaway received 550 entries, and after reading every single one of them (twice!), Keira and I selected 24-time marathoner and 20-time Ironman triathlete Kristin McQueen as the winner.
Meet Kristin. She's a 43-year-old from Illinois, and she is living with trigeminal neuralgia — a chronic illness she calls "Stabby Joe." ("They say it's the worst pain known to man," says Kristin, who is in near-constant pain.) In 2003, Kristin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and since then, she's had more than 30 surgeries, including dozens of brain surgeries. She has had to re-learn how to walk and ride a bike, she has a paralyzed vocal cord, she lost hearing on her right side, and she can only see out of her left eye. Her medical history is long and complicated — but she's never stopped fighting. In addition to her many athletic accomplishments, Kristin has also raised nearly $210,000 for the American Cancer Society. (You can donate here.)
All that, plus a 15-minute catch-up with Keira (she's officially in training mode!) to kick things off.