By: Eulah Holland

“When I was 53, I suffered a stroke that left me half-paralyzed and unable to walk or talk

for several weeks. To this day we have no idea why it happened — the only warning sign

was a bad headache. It took a long time for me to fully recover. I had to relearn a lot of

basic activities like driving and reading.

Then, in July 2004, I heard about the American Stroke Association’s Train to End Stroke

program, where you enter a marathon and raise money for stroke research. I had never

done anything like that before, but I just said, ‘You know what? I’m doing this.’ My

husband, Kemp, is a runner, and he offered to train with me.

I walked my first marathon that December. It took me seven hours to finish, but as soon

as I did, I said, ‘Okay, when’s the next one?’ After a few more races, I started to run a

little. I was nervous that I would have a heart attack, but my doctor said the exercise

was actually good for me. I have now completed 11 half-marathons and five full


People always say, ‘Oh, I could never do a marathon.’ And I say, yes, you can. You can

always stop and walk — and everyone knows how to do that.”

Eulah Holland, 62 

Retired Secretary, Altadena, California