Runner ‘up’ to challenge, raise awareness of disease

The Pumpkinman Triathlon, held Saturday in Boulder City, played host to the nation’s only team of people with foot drop paralysis, a disability that restricts dexterity of the feet.

Las Vegas resident Virginia Mamone, along with Beth Deloria, founder of TeamUp, a national movement of people who have made the decision to get back up from foot drop paralysis, competed in the running portion of the event to bring awareness to the disease.

Mamone was diagnosed with the neurological condition Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease just over seven years ago after battles with pain, weakness and fatigue.

The hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy disease results in the paralysis of both feet and ankles.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Mamone said. “One day I was searching videos and stumbled across Beth and what she does.”

Mamone said she decided right there that she would once again gain control over her life and not let the disease stop her from achieving the things she liked.

To eventually regain her mobility, Mamone had to receive high-technology ankle foot orthotic braces.

“The plastic ones were so painful,” Mamone said. “When I eventually met with Allard USA and they showed me their brace, it was night and day.”

Allard USA is a subsidiary of Allard International, a worldwide recognized leader of innovative orthotic devices that is based out of Sweden.

The carbon-fiber braces were much more comfortable, according to Mamone, with the foot plate actually propelling the runner to take the next step.

She received the braces in November 2012 and ran her first race the following February.

Since then, she hasn’t looked back, running in more than 20 races, including Saturday’s event in Boulder City.

“Boulder City is such an amazing little town,” Mamone said. “It’s so beautiful there. When I heard they were having a triathlon, I knew I had to compete.”

Mamone competed, finishing the 5K portion of the race that started at Wilbur Square, alongside Deloria.

The two have been on a mission to raise awareness, and have run races across the country to do just that.

According to Deloria’s website, the mission is to show this condition doesn’t have to rob people of their quality of life.

With both of them crossing the finish line in Boulder City on Saturday, the pair of prognosticators did just that.

Contact reporter Randy Faehnrich at rfaehnrich@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @RandyFaehnrich

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