FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Rhonda-Lee Foulds won’t let her battle with Parkinson’s Disease prevent her from lacing up to run her 100th marathon at Cowtown.
Diagnosed in 1999, Folds underwent brain surgery four times and has a battery pack implanted in her chest.
From using a walker for stability in the beginning, to eventually jogging in the park taking baby steps, Folds attacked her first 5K that same year in 2010.
A year later she finished the Dallas’ White Rock Marathon.
Exercise is widely accepted by the medical community to help Parkinson’s patients better control their movement, and the only remedy proven to slow the decline of the disease. Parkinson’s is a neuro-degenerative disease, where the brain is slowly depleted of dopamine. Dopamine controls movement and mood. Parkinson’s is most often characterized as “an old man’s disease” and usually accompanied with a tremor.
Falling is a risk for people with Parkinson’s, and after 99 marathons in nine years, Foulds is no stranger to falls, enduring more than 15 during a race. She has broken her right orbital bone and her left leg along leaving her with countless stitches. However, the epitome of perseverance and grit, Foulds never quits, determined to finish each race.
She said the Cowtown is the perfect way to finish her centennial feat, on her feet, at home.
It’s the first time anyone with Parkinson’s will cross 100 marathon or ultra marathon finish lines.