On April 16, 2001, Katie Lynch stood amidst a throng of cheering onlookers at the finish of her Boston Marathon route, filled with pride and surrounded by family, friends, and fans. That she stood just 28 inches tall and had walked only 26.2 feet mattered not at all.
Katie was born with a unique form of dwarfism. Known to face her challenges head-on, with a smile and a sense of humor, she had a personal mantra "Parva Sed Potens," Latin for "small but powerful". Despite her many physical disabilities, she graduated summa cum laude from Regis College (Weston, MA), worked at Children’s Hospital Boston in the Center for Families, and became a sought-after motivational speaker.
When asked by a television reporter why she had chosen to devote herself to this monumental challenge of her own 26.2 foot marathon, Katie responded, "Because every human being is worth it." For Katie, the reward of crossing the finish line was about more than testing her physical limits and the twenty-seven thousand dollars that she had raised for Children’s Hospital Boston. For Katie, the ultimate reward was the opportunity to share her deeply held conviction that both individually and as a community, we need to acknowledge the worth of every person. Her dream was to remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating to the full extent of their capabilities and their desires. Katie passed away on October 24, 2002 but her passion to take part in life and serve others lives on in the work she began.
Read the Boston Globe front page article about Katie the Saturday before she ran the Boston Marathon: Giant Steps.
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