2018 Lashutka Spirit Award Winners: Sarah Smith and Patrick McKennedy

There is no question that running provides numerous physical and emotional benefits.  To this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Marathon & ½ Marathon Lashutka Spirit Award winners, the underlying reason seems to be perseverance*.

*perseverance, noun, continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition the action or condition or an instance of persevering.

It is a pleasure to share with you the stories behind this year’s 10 Lashutka Spirit Award winners and introduce you to men and women from all ages and backgrounds who persevere through the challenges and traumas of life.

Their stories will inspire.

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Sarah Smith and her dog, Millie

Sarah Smith of Columbus is running the full marathon after being diagnosed with and receiving treatment for Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. Inspired by a high school classmate’s openness and positivity during her own cancer battle, Sarah decided to take the same approach and let her feet do the talking. She has many marathons to her name, but every finish line is extra special now. “In completing the Columbus Marathon while undergoing cancer treatment, my hope is to encourage others to keep doing the things that bring them joy, regardless of their circumstances.”


Patrick McKennedy

In 1989, Patrick McKennedy of Westerville, Ohio, suffered a stroke during his Junior year of high school that affected the right side of his body.  He was able to walk with a cane, eventually weaning himself off and started running in 2008. He ran his first marathon in 2011. In 2013, Patrick suffered another stroke, again impacting the right side of his body.  Once again, Patrick committed himself to running and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon will be his fifth marathon since his last stroke.  He hopes to show others in the stroke community not to allow a stroke to control what you can or can’t do.

Congratulations to Sarah and Patrick on your hard work!

Stay tuned to this blog for more inspirational stories as our next Lashutka Spirit Award Winners are revealed in the days ahead.




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