Our President/Co-Founder Thomas E. Smith finished the 2018 Boston Marathon in 8 hours 30 minutes and 28 seconds. In doing so, he became the first person who has suffered multiple paralyzing accidents to complete the course without the use of a wheelchair.
In conjunction with this amazing accomplishment, our foundation was able to raise $27,500+ for Journey Forward, New England’s premier paralysis rehabilitation treatment center. We are so proud of Thomas and would like to thank everyone who supported his efforts as it directly benefits the lives of those living with paralysis! Below is a message from Thomas about his 2018 Boston Marathon experience!
“The Boston Marathon was one of the most challenging yet best days of my life. A marathon is obviously an extremely hard and amazing accomplishment on a sunny spring day; but when it’s cold, freezing rain and windy like it was on April 16, 2018, it’s a whole different game.
If I am being 100% honest, I wanted to stop at mile 17 and call it a day. I literally went to the side of the road, bent over and started to tear up because I was in so much pain, my lips were blue and I had never been so cold or tired in my life. However, when I bent over, I saw the initials on my leggings of the 21 grant recipients that The Thomas E. Smith Foundation has donated to. I thought of all the inspiring heroes that fight everyday at Journey Forward to beat paralysis. After about 45 seconds, I got up, grabbed my crutches and did not stop until I crossed the finish line.
The Boston Marathon, like life, is part mental and part physical. You can do anything you set your mind to. It all depends on what you are willing to sacrifice to accomplish your goals. Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign! I am extremely grateful and could not have done any of this with YOU!”