In April, Maickel Melamed completed the Boston Marathon after 20 hours of walking. However, for Melamed, this was no ordinary feat because he has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which makes it very difficult for him to move. In fact, his diagnosis is so severe that when he was born doctors gave him only seven days to live. The Mayo Clinic defines muscular dystrophy as a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.
Although Melamed finished last in the 26.2-mile race, his story garnered attention from major media networks and inspired thousands. Melamed is from Venezuela and is 39-years-old. He said, “After 20 hours of rain, wind and cold, Boston is still strong. The whole city has been so helpful and loving. The message here is that love is so much stronger than death. It was an honor to run the streets of this city.”
According to the Daily Mail, Melamed walked the race with physical trainers and dozens of friends and supporters were there to watch him complete the race. At a news conference about the event, Melamed said, “For you, [it looks like] I walk. For me, I was running because I was at the maximum level of myself for the whole course. I’m not running this alone. The most important thing is the team I’m part of.”
Thus far, Melamed has completed four other marathons thanks to physical trainers who have assisted him. However, the Boston race was particularly challenging because of the weather. Melamed said, “We have done so many marathons that each of them, they’re all difficult. Yesterday’s one … was real, real tough because of the rain, the cold, the wind, and the course was a real tough one so all together was a real challenge that I’m grateful for.”
Additionally, CBS Boston reported that when Melamed needed to rest, his trainers would push him back up and count his every step. Remarkably, Melamed has completed marathons in Chicago, New York and Tokyo as well as climbed the highest mountain in Venezuela.
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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Melamed’s story was ‘truly one of inspiration,’ especially after the tragic bombing that took place there in 2013. Melamed concluded, “You have to know why you’re doing it, because in the last mile, the marathon will ask you if you have a reason, and if you don’t have it, you will quit.
Raise the bar of your own expectations for yourself. Human power is infinite.”
Watch the video below to see Melamed finish the race!