The Medtronic Global Heroes Web site starts out with this statement:
Running long distances was never meant to be easy. It becomes even harder when the body becomes a barrier. For runners diagnosed with medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, spinal disorders, chronic pain or neurological disorders, that is the reality. Yet the passion for running remains.
The Minnesota-based medical device company introduced a program in 2006 called “Global Heroes”. This program recognizes runners from all around the world who have benefited from medical devices, and invites these Global Heroes to run in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. This is a great reward for people who have overcome medical conditions they may have ended their running careers—and in many cases‐their lives. I can personally relate to this as I had open heart surgery in Minnesota in 2002 to repair a damaged mitral valve. While I don’t quality as someone who has a “medically assisted device,” I do have a Medtronic “annuoplasty” ring which was used to help repair my leaky valve.
People with eligible medical devices include those who have the following:
Pacemaker or ICD
The 2007 Global Heroes has already been selected for the race which takes place on October 7. This award recipients will each receive a paid entry to the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon or 10-mile race. They will also receive air transportation, lodging and meals, as well as miscellaneous special gifts, benefits, invitation to the Global Heroes reception, reserved finish line seating for friends and family, and a designated Global Hero race bib, hat and singlet. In addition, the Medtronic Foundation will donate $1,000 on behalf of each Global Hero to a non-profit organization that educates and supports individuals who live with their specific condition.
If you plan to be around at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, be sure to give these runners some extra encouragement. And who knows—maybe you or someone you know could apply to be a Medtronic Global Hero in 2008.
Medtronic Global Heroes: Ordinary runners overcoming extraordinary obstacles to continue to enjoy the sport they know and love.