At 50 years old, the unthinkable has happened to Toni Wild more often than not.
Here are just a few of the things that she's had to go through: surviving breast cancer twist, the loss of her husband in a car accident, and heart failure because of the chemo.
Now, she's completed a marathon — and is proud to have made it to 50 years:
"There were so many twists and turns that could have ended my life, and ended it quite early on. I wanted other women and other individuals to hear my story and to see that regardless of what obstacles you may cross in your life, you can overcome those."
When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she was just 29 years old. She beat it, and was clean for 5 years — which is a huge milestone after beating cancer. To celebrate, she and her husband went on a trip a week later.
They got a flat tire, and he was struck and killed by a car while changing it. Truly awful. Then she had to make the decision to donate his organs because he was brain dead:
"I made that decision. I was actually able to provide three families with a second chance at life: One with a heart, and two with kidneys, and then several other families with tissue, bone and corneas."
Then, right before a year passed, she found another lump. She beat cancer again, but her health wasn't back to normal. She though she had a cold, but it turned into shortness of breath and fatigue, and was told she had walking pneumonia.
She felt weird about the diagnosis, and asked if it could've been because of her two rounds of chemo, which is hard on the heart! They ignored her!
She got worse, and then an x-ray showed her heart was THREE TIMES the normal size. Congestive heart failure.
With a combo of medication and rest, she lived the next 11 years pretty normally, and then it came back with a vengeance when she was 46.
Little did she know that she'd quickly get a new heart — as she was a transplant match not long after getting onto the list!
Here's what she said:
"It makes me realize there's so much truth in the statement of 'paying it forward.' In 1997, when I decided to donate my husband's organs, I had absolutely no idea, would not even fathom the thought that, years down the road, I would find myself in that exact situation of needing a heart."
And now, she's running marathons!
Talk about the definition of never giving up! That's incredible!
We hope she and her new heart live a long and healthy life — she deserves it after all that!! See this beautiful woman speak about her trials in her own words (above)!!
Tags: cancer, health, heart failure, husband, loss, marathon, runner, transplant