Richmond woman lost her leg but went on to run the longest race of her life.

Richmond woman lost her leg but went on to run the longest race of her life.

Sue Henneberry has been engaged in physical activity since she began walking.

“My parents were both physical education teachers, so I was likely the only girl in my class who could throw a spiral,” shared the New Jersey native. “Sports have always been a fundamental part of my life.”

Henneberry took up running shortly after, making it all the more surprising when, in early 2021, this active and otherwise healthy woman faced a severe bout of COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Due to a pre-existing autoimmune disorder, Henneberry experienced unique and unexpected challenges, setting her journey apart from others.

Sue Henneberry described a period of intense discomfort, remembering, “I was very achy. I went to the podiatrist and said something wasn’t right. He said, ‘You’re right, something isn’t right.'” She went on to explain that due to her autoimmune condition, she had a wound that she was unaware of, and as a result, her left leg was numb from the knee down.

Recounting the severity of her situation, she added, “My foot was red like a lobster. My health was plummeting. I felt awful.” The vivid description captures the physical toll and distressing symptoms she faced during this challenging time.

For two years, Henneberry and her doctors battled to no avail. All the medication in the world wasn’t helping the situation with her leg.

It would have to go.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make because I chose. It’s not like an auto accident or anything else. I chose to be amputated,” she said.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Henneberry’s health immediately began to rebound.

Richmond woman lost her leg but went on to run the longest race of her life.

Sue Henneberry discovered alternative ways to stay active, turning to the supportive community at Sportable.

“Everybody needs to get up and move, whatever your challenges are. Even if it’s just walking around the block, you gotta keep active,” emphasized running coach Karl Cover.

Henneberry, echoing a resilient mindset, asserted, “Disabilities will never outweigh your ability. To me, I’ve lived that. It is that middle finger saying nope, not gonna let it get the best of me!” Her words reflect a determination to overcome challenges and maintain an active lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and a positive attitude.

Henneberry resumed running and participated in a Spartan race earlier this year. Just a few weeks ago, she achieved a significant milestone by completing a 10-mile race at Rocketts Landing. This accomplishment marked the farthest distance she had ever run in her life.

“This is mental. As much as this is physical, to learn how to walk, to learn how to run or any of that kind of stuff, you’ve lost part of your body. I’m still trying to grieve,” she said. “For me, doing the sports and giving myself a goal to work towards, and when I can achieve that, it is so uplifting that I can do anything. If I can do this, what’s next?”

What’s next for Sue Henneberry is the Richmond half-marathon, for which she is currently training with her coach and other supporters. Although Cover suggested considering just the 8K portion, that doesn’t align with Henneberry’s determined style.

She is undertaking this challenge for personal growth but has also become an inspiring example of not allowing even devastating circumstances to keep you down.

“She’s a perfect example to show what can be done just by getting out there and trying,” remarked Coach Cover.

Richmond woman lost her leg but went on to run the longest race of her life.

Henneberry shared a touching encounter, saying, “This man came up to me and said I’ve been dealing with knee injuries, and I watched you do 10 miles, he said thank you so much. That was so meaningful. I was like dang, that felt good!” She emphasized the importance of making the most of life, stating, “You have one life to live. You have to strive to have it be the best it can possibly be. Live it to the best potential you have.” Henneberry’s journey serves as a source of inspiration for others facing challenges.

Sue Henneberry, a lifelong advocate for an active lifestyle, confronted an unforeseen challenge when COVID-19 and pneumonia struck her in early 2021. Lane Casadonte’s narrative captures the essence of her journey, emphasizing the impact of a pre-existing autoimmune disorder on her battle with these formidable adversaries. Henneberry’s spirited beginnings in New Jersey, where her parents were physical education teachers, set the stage for a life immersed in sports and athleticism.

The shocking twist of Henneberry, a beacon of health, succumbing to the severe effects of the illnesses reveals the unpredictable nature of health challenges. Complications arising from her autoimmune disorder, including a numbing effect on her left leg and an unnoticed wound, added unique layers to her struggle.

Despite the profound toll on her health, Henneberry’s resilient response to the crisis is highlighted. Seeking medical attention when symptoms arose, she faced the daunting picture of her health decline with courage. Casadonte’s narration leaves readers with a lingering question – “What’s next?” – inviting contemplation not only about Henneberry’s future but also reflecting on life’s unpredictable journeys.

In conclusion, Sue Henneberry’s journey serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Casadonte’s narrative encapsulates the resilience required to face adversity, prompting readers to reflect on the indomitable spirit that propels individuals forward, even after enduring the longest race of their lives.






( Source: Local News )