ONEONTA, N.Y. -- After suffering a spinal injury in a car accident six years ago, doctors advised Danielle Tonner not to walk for more than 15 minutes. Tonner didn’t listen. Instead, she began an extensive rehabilitation program aimed at regaining her active lifestyle.
Now Tonner, an Educational Opportunity Program counselor at SUNY Oneonta, is training to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in Buena Vista, Florida to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.
“My goal in running this race is to give hope and help to others who, like me, suffer from some form of arthritis,” says Tonner. “Degenerative disc disease, which is what I have, is one of the many forms of arthritis that affect one in five adults and over 300,000 children nationwide.”
Tonner’s not the only member of her family to deal with a bone disease. Her father-in-law was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2008, forcing him to stop running road races.
“Before his diagnosis, Dad did half-marathons, biked almost daily, and had even played semi-pro football,” Tonner says. “He may have lost his mobility to arthritis, but he continues to inspire me in my own fight against the disease. In some ways, I’m running for him.”
In connection with January’s marathon, Tonner has received nearly $1,000 for the Arthritis Foundation in contributions and sponsorships. “My goal is to raise $2,600 by race time,” she says. “I’ll hand all of it over to the Arthritis Foundation.”
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be Tonner’s second long-distance road race. This past July, she completed the Utica 15K Boilermaker.
More information about the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and how to make a donation supporting Tonner’s efforts is available via email to Tonner at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at http://2011jimdisney.kintera.org/dts1sthalfmarathon?faf=1&e=3647558334.