Credit: WCVB

Everyone is excited and thrilled about the upcoming Boston Marathon 2019, also known as the Monday Marathon as it’s taking place this coming Monday, 15 April 2019. 

New participants have been preparing for the event for months in order to complete the 26.2 mile marathon on Monday.

The annual Boston Marathon started 122 years ago in 1897, and has always been held on Patriot’s Day—the third Monday of April.

Credit: Flickr

A whopping 30,000 will be participating in the exciting event on Monday!

But this year, there will be two inspiring participants joining in—Tom Smith and Garrett Fitzgerald, who are both paralyzed.

Two inspiring participants

Credit: WCVB

Despite their spinal cord injuries, Tom and Garrett are participating in the Boston Marathon, courtesy of non-profit organization Journey Forward.

Journey Forward was set up to help people with spinal cord injuries or disability.

“We provide an intense, exercise based program working to achieve some of the most basic lifelong functions and benefits for our clients.

“Exercise is important to everyone and even more so for those living with paralysis,” their website reads.

When he was a professional hockey prospect, Tom was paralyzed three times—twice from hockey-related injuries and once following a car crash.

Credit: WCVB

Tom told WCVB, “With my accidents and seeing what the foundation and journey forward has been able to do for those with paralysis, there is a reason I’ve been inducted into this unwanted family.”

Garrett sustained spinal cord injuries from a car accident during the 2016 presidential campaign trail when he worked as a Secret Service agent.

Credit: WCVB

The chance to compete in the Monday Marathon despite their injuries means a lot to them.

“This injury is a marathon, not a sprint, and competing in this event is a perfect way to capture that,” Garrett said.

Tom will be walking the marathon this year, while a friend of Garrett’s will push him the whole 26.2 miles! 

Credit: WCVB

How Journey Forward impacted Tom and Garrett’s life

Credit: WCVB

Joining the non-profit organization has undoubtedly impacted both Tom and Garrett’s lives.

Tom has since made a speedy recovery from his injuries. He now inspires others while they recover from their spinal cord injuries.

“The last time I used a wheelchair was December of 2012,” Tom said.

“My purpose, really now, is to get people like Garrett and those that rely on a wheelchair to ditch that and really get back on their feet, and hopefully we can do a marathon someday together.”

Garrett is also very thankful for Journey Forward and everything they have done for him.

“I’m sure there is no one who envisioned such a thing for their future, but I’m extremely fortunate to have such a great group of people around me,” he said.

We wish Tom and Garrett all the best for the Monday Marathon. We are truly inspired by the both of you and can’t wait to see you guys at the finish line!

If you want to support Tom, Garrett or any of the runners, you can visit Journey Forward and donate. Quickly it’s almost Monday! 

Credit: WCVB


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