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CBN.com Have you ever had days where you just wanted to give up? Well, during my training for the marathon, I’ve had my good and my bad days. But whenever I’d get discouraged or want to give up, I would think about a woman I met named Deena Spagnoli. She is a constant reminder of the scripture that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“I’m not going to quit. I’m not a quitter.” From the time Deena was a young girl, this was her motto. An avid swimmer and runner, Deena completed seven full marathons before the age of 30.
“I love working out,” Deena shares. “I love being physical. I just love how I feel inside and how it makes me feel.”
So when tragedy threatened to take her love away, Deena was devastated. She recalls, “At first when I found out I won’t be able to run again, I thought, ‘You’re kidding me. You’re taking one of the things I truly love to do, and that’s going to be gone.’”
During one of her daily runs, Deena felt a throbbing pain in her leg.
“It hurt so bad [that] it kept me up at night. It would just throb and throb. I finally got talked into going to a surgeon by my friends. So he took an x-ray, and it was a black spot on my bone. He said, ‘It’s cancer,’ and I just lost it.
“You hear about cancer and how horrible it is. I thought, ‘I’m going to die. How am I going to do this? How can this be happening to me? I have cancer.’”
But never one to give up, she decided “to change gears and go, ‘OK, it is what it is. How am I going to get through this? This is just an obstacle, and you’re going to have to find a way to get around it, get over it, get through it, whatever it is.’”
So with the prayers and support of family and friends, Deena persevered through every obstacle that was thrown her way including a year of chemotherapy and a second bout with another kind of cancer.
But when the physical pain became more than she could handle, Deena decided to do the unimaginable.
“On February the 28th, I had my leg amputated, and that was my decision to make,” she shares. “I was in so much pain. My dad’s 81 years old, and he was getting around better than I was. I thought, ‘There is something wrong here.’
“I just couldn’t do the things that I love to do. I couldn’t go to the gym. I couldn’t bear to walk to my car. So it was just unfortunate that I had to go through such drastic measures to kinda get my life back, but it’s back. It’s back with a vengeance.”
Today Deena is cancer free. In fact, everything her doctors told her she couldn’t do, she is now doing. Some said that she would never walk again. She is not only walking but running. In fact, Deena is currently training to run her 8th marathon.
She says, “You can make it another day. You just never give up and always looking forward to what the next day can bring.”
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