Advocacy & News

MS Patient Challenges Her Prognosis and Runs Marathons

MS Patient Challenges Her Prognosis and Runs Marathons
AMRPA features patient success story in recognition of MS Awareness Month

(WASHINGTON – March 20, 2020) – A symbol of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds in the face of a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, marathon-runner and athlete Marisa Boasa recently told her inspiring story of treatment and recovery to the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA). One in a series of Patient Success Stories, AMRPA has adopted a patient-focused approach to highlight the work of its member hospitals, the remarkable patients they serve and, above all, the power of medical rehabilitation.

In August 2018, Boasa was diagnosed with MS while training for the Philadelphia Marathon, along with a daunting prognosis: “You’ll never run again.” Not letting this get in the way of her innate love for running, she began receiving treatment at the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital (an AMRPA member), part of Trinity Health of New England. She was subsequently placed on a strict regimen of care and treatment, which involves periodic assessments to identify areas of concern and a plan to begin working toward mobility benchmarks.

Since her diagnosis, she has run a total of seven races, including the very race that she was training for when she first learned about her condition, the 2019 Philadelphia Marathon.

When asked by AMRPA what motivates her to keep going despite the challenges she faces, Boasa responded, “It is my determination to stay mobile and not stop. It’s not easy; however, the answer is always no if you don’t ask, and in my case, it means asking for help. Having a strong network and circle of people that support me is, in many ways, the figurative harness to get me through some of the most difficult days. Fortunately for me, I also believe in a positive outlook and that plays a crucial role in what I am trying to achieve.”

Boasa also gave some important advice to people with similar diagnoses, saying, “Keep moving, mentally and physically. Often times we stand in our own way, and it’s easier to quit, but no one ever feels a level of accomplishment when they quit.”

In addition to her daily training and actively participating in marathons across the nation, Marisa has also created Fight for Mobility, a grassroots initiative and platform through which she focuses on inspiring other, and she continues to work with congressional leadership to advocate for certain accommodations provided during foot races for those with varying physical abilities.

To stay updated on Marisa’s journey, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information on the #powerofmedicalrehab, visit this page on AMRPA’s website.