Posted by Lynn Bronikowski Apr 10 2017
Stroke survivor Maureen Faille climbed all 180 floors of Presidential Towers for a fundraiser in Chicago. She also ran the 8K Shamrock Run through the streets of downtown Chicago.
Each time she thought of her sons—both serving overseas in the Army—and took on the challenges for them.
“Every time I wanted to give up I would visualize my son next to me saying, ‘Mom, you can do this,’” says Faille, who did the stair climb for four years. “The first year my youngest son was in Afghanistan fighting for us and I kept putting myself in his situation and did it for him.”
During the Shamrock run, her other son was in Iraq and she thought, “How can I not take one more step when he is fighting in Iraq? Each time I would find a way to take a step thinking about my family.”
On June 3, Faille and her team, Keep on Truckin’, will participate in the National Stroke Association’s Comeback Trail 5K walk and fun run which starts at DuSable Harbor and winds along Lakefront Trail.
“I’m doing it for everyone else who can’t,” says Faille of Bartlett, Ill. “Even in the little things we do there’s always hope. If you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, use a wheelchair, a cane or a walker. Just show up; be visible and be the face of stroke.”
Taking steps did not always come easy for Faille, who on March 21, 2007 at age 38 experienced a stroke that left her completely speechless and with paralysis on her right side. She spent 34 days in Alexian Brothers Rehabilitation Hospital in Elk Grove, Ill., working tirelessly with therapists to regain her speech and mobility.
And when she completed her rehab there, she would return to speak once a month to other stroke survivors.
“I would tell them ‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something,’” she says. “There’s no such thing as ‘can’t’. You just find different ways of doing things on this different path we’re on.”
Her doctor, for example, told her to get used to wearing loose fitting shoes because she’d not be able to wear high heels again.
“When I went for my checkup, I walked into his office wearing four-inch heels. That was a milestone for me; a grand entrance,” she recalls. “Don’t go by what the book says. All of us work at a different level.”
Faille admits she has days when the pain of spasticity and other conditions is unbearable. Her husband, William LaBoy, has been her rock through it all.
“I always feel I’m a fighter and when pain strikes it makes me keep moving,” she says. “I keep pushing through.
“Not only am I able to get up and walk but I’m able to prove it to everyone who said I couldn’t,” she says. “It’s an aha moment and every day I open my eyes and say God gave me another day to be here with my family.”
The National Stroke Association’s Comeback Trail run/walk is approximately 5K and will begin at 9 a.m. on June 3 at DuSable Harbor in downtown Chicago. For information and to register visit www.comebacktrail.org.
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