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The Most Important Mile of My Life: Taylor Bell

In March 2010, I was blessed with my first child.

Three days after he was born, he began seizing and was diagnosed with a brain bleed and was admitted to PICU.  One day later, I developed a massive blood clot from my hip to my ankle and was admitted to another hospital.

We were both told it was a miracle we were both alive.

Thankfully, he recovered fully with no residual damage. I had surgery to remove the clot and was diagnosed with May Thurner Syndrome. I had run my last marathon in 2008 before getting pregnant, and my last half in 2009 when I was 24 weeks pregnant, so I wasn't sure I'd ever see another finish line. I had permanent damage to my circulation.

I almost gave up.  Something inside of me—and my son's life, as well as mine—drove me to keep running. I slowly chipped away at it. I ran a half-marathon in 2012, and had hop. I promptly signed up for a full that fall, which leads me to my most important mile.

Taylor heads to the finish line of a marathon--and to a celebration of life.
Taylor heads to the finish line of a marathon--and to a celebration of life.

This is the last mile of my marathon in November 2012, the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon.  My dad, who was my inspiration to start running, ran back to meet me as I came into the finish. At the same time, my son came running to greet me. This mile reinforced the fact that no matter my time, no matter what the circumstances, my son is proud. I am proud. We are alive and we can run.

Happy 2014, all!

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