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From hardships to triumph, nothing is stopping a retired U.S. Army Specialist from hitting the pavement and proving anything is possible. Stefan LeRoy lost both his legs while serving overseas.
This weekend, the 27-year-old is taking on a new challenge at the 2019 Walt Disney World marathon.
LeRoy isn’t running just one race, not even two; he is running the 5K, 10K, half marathon and is hand cycling the full marathon on Sunday.
“It’s something that has been a part of my life,” he said.
In June of 2012, LeRoy was deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division when he stepped on a bomb while carrying a fellow soldier to a waiting helicopter seconds after an explosion went off around them in Afghanistan.
“I lost both my legs instantly,” he said. “Single above the knee and a single below the knee amputee.”
The traumatic incident that occurred thousands of miles away from home never stopped him from achieving his goal: to experience the thrill of running again.
LeRoy struggled with depression and anxiety until he got his prosthetic legs and running blades.
He describes his training as challenging, saying he suffers from blisters and painful chafing.
“I also have to be careful of overdoing it,” LeRoy said. “The recovery was a long process. It was very frustrating. I wasn’t initially able to walk in prosthetics, but I focused on adaptive sports. I made it that I was able to stay positive.”
Every strides LeRoy takes is a massive accomplishment.
His resilience is fueled by the support with the Achilles International Freedom Team, "an organization that encourages wounded vets to participate in running events."
His other support system is David M. Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, who will accompany and guide LeRoy during the race again this year.
“You keep training. You keep stepping it up. You keep pushing through it,” LeRoy said.(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP