We’ve gotten to know Abdi via email these past few weeks and we had to share her story with you.
Determined to rise.
Determined to inspire.
She will be running the Miami Marathon this Sunday and we’d love for you to help us cheer her on! Here is a bit about her story… get ready to be INSPIRED!
I will be doing the Miami marathon this Sunday, January 28. Ironically enough, it was this race four years ago where I saw a flower for the first time and asked the lady about it. From there, I knew I had to become a fellow flower!
Before I got sick in 2012, I was an avid marathon runner but cancer forced to me stop for a while. Then in 2014, I decided to take back my life and got back out there on the pavement. The only difference is that now I’m an avid walker instead of runner.
I have done 16 half marathons with cancer and celiac and I just got diagnosed on Dec 14 with aplastic anemia, so yeah, this Miami marathon is extra special. Not only will it be my first full marathon with illnesses, but it’ll be my first race with aplastic anemia. As much as these sicknesses can be seen as devastating, they have molded me into the person I am today — a fighter and warrior who refuses to give up and refuses to back down from the challenge called life!
Q: What keeps you motivated amidst such a tough challenge?
A: My motivation — besides the medal, of course (I LOVE medals) — comes from within. I have hope, faith, and strength to get me through what I am facing right now. I hold on to my hope that things will get better – that hope fuels my faith that God will make me better on His timing and that gives me the strength I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And of course, I’m motivated by the fact that I love proving my doctors and those I love wrong when they tell me that I can’t do something! The medal is proof that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
Q: When the excuses creep in, what do you tell yourself to keep going?
“You’re too sick.”
”You should be resting.”
“If things get worse you will only have yourself to blame so just chill out.”
Those are some of the excuses that flood my mind on a daily bases, but when they creep in, I look at how far I have come and keep on going. Your mind can be your worst enemy. I don’t allow myself to entertain the excuses because if I do, then I will be another statistic — a sick person who just sits on the couch and lets life pass them by. I refuse to let life pass me by – the excuses are temporary but the fulfillment of accomplishing the goals is forever.
Q: What do you say to anyone who says ‘they can’t’????
When someone tells me they can’t do something — whatever it may be — I ask them a simple question:
“Why can’t you?”
I tell them the only thing stopping you is yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. Yeah, you may not be the first person to finish the race, trust me. I’m SO ok with that and actually came in DEAD LAST at the St Augustine half in 2016, but you know what? I finished. I didn’t let circumstances hold me back. I tell people all the time that the mind is their most powerful weapon. If you think you can, then you can.
And then I say —“look at me. If I can finish half marathons with my autoimmune diseases then you can do it too.”
And then I add that if I’m crazy enough to take on a full marathon with my illnesses then they can do anything they want!!
Q: What color flower do you plan to wear for your marathon?
I will be wearing the red flower for the first time ever because it represent STRENGTH! I will be calling upon God and anyone and everyone I know to get me across that finish line!! I will pull on everyone’s strength that day!!
Thank you for sharing your story with us Abdi! You are inspiration and you will ROCK that marathon!