Kathleen Boyle Wrigley: Blind Runner, Philadelphia Marathon (Photos,Video)

November 20, 2010

Meet Kathleen Boyle Wrigley she is a fantastic woman, amazing athlete competing at the Philadelphia Marathon. She is the only blind runner at the marathon. Find out more about this fantastic runner, wife,sister, mother and role model from her biography, take a look at the photos, video after the jump.

Kathleen Boyle Wrigley is a brave woman, a fighter, her strength comes from her faith in God, the love of her beautiful family and friends and last but not least from the great memories of her beloved older brother Danny who was taken from her in 1991. Danny has just graduated from the Police Academy on February 4, 1991 he was working on a 2:00-8:00 a.m shift when he stopped a stolen car driver who shot about 15 times at him one in his temple, Daniel Boyle died on February 6, 1991 he was just 21 years old. His memory lives forever in her heart, because of him she has run many marathons that raises funds for her family’s foundation the Officer Daniel Boyle Scholarship Fund established in several schools now in Philadelphia with the main purpose to keep Kathleen’s brother Danny’s memory alive and to helps family with the financial education of their children. Danny’s police badge was number 5459 and Kathleen will be wearing it on Sunday at the 17th annual Philadelphia Marathon, her second after she lost her sight last year. Her determination to run and the wonderful things she has done with her family received recognition on Friday when Kathleen was awarded with the 1st High Five Award.

“I accept this award on (behalf of) all Philadelphia police officers who have served and given their lives in the line of duty,” said Wrigley, “and one in particular who teaches me how to live life to its fullest every single day — Danny Boyle.”

39 year old Kathleen grew up in Somerton, Philadelphia she is the youngest daughter of Nancy Boyle and T. Patrick Boyle a veteran Police Officer. She went to Temple in Philadelphia were she first started running, after graduation she got married to lieutenant governor Drew Wrigley in 1998, he used to be an attorney. Kathleen became a mother of her son Patrick, a few years she gave birth to a girl Quinn and just two years ago Harper her little 2 year old was born.

Kathleen began to feel something was wrong with her body when in 2004 a certain on/ off numbness started on her face, she went to the doctor and after taking some tests it was revealed that she had an aneurysm in her brain (an aneurysm is when a blood vessel starts to filled in with blood, when increases its size it breaks causing severe physical problems and even death) most of the times a craniotomy is done, but on Kathleen they opted for another procedure where they threaded coils in the artery on her groin to her brain.

A few months later she was running and then became pregnant with Harper. Last year it was revealed to her that the coils in the aneurysm were giving up and the craniotony was the next procedure for her. During the surgery a vessel that carried blood to the optical nerve was obstructed, causing blindness on her right eye.

It was a hard hit in her life, it took her some time to recover, but her children, Drew, her family and Danny’s memory kept her going, certainly she kept praying for God to give strength to overcome this reality in her life, she was thankful to be alive, but couldn’t help to feel frustrated, besides her blindness she lost muscular mass and had to start her recovery from zero.

Now she looks back to those days and no longer asks why did that happen to her (well actually she never did), but what people who are going through a process like she did will see that it is a difficulty in their lives, but it won’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams, there are always ways to accomplish things you are so eager to do, Kathleen is an amazing woman, inspiration to many and we all be cheering for her at the Philly marathon. Kathleen and her beloved family lives in Fargo, North Dakota.

I have to share with you that over this week I had the wonderful opportunity to do two stories of great women who like me have been through difficult times. So to sum it up I was 15 when I started to feel numbness on the left side of my body, I also had an aneurysm, the procedure also left permanent complications in my body, I am today hemiplegic (paralysis on one side of your body affecting arm, trunk and leg), for months I was in a wheelchair, then it was a cane – I don’t need those anymore I do use an ankle-foot orthoses I can’t use my hand, I thought I lost so much but God has given so much back in return, I am happily married with 5 gorgeous children, with an amazing job and teammates where I get to write about these wonderful people and be able to reach terrific readers like you, I am truly blessed.

What do you think of this story? Share your comments and take the opportunity to send Kathleen a message and/ or wishes. Check the photos of therir spectacular runners and video below.

Kathleen Boyle Wrigley Video
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