Roberta Horn was born with club feet – a congenital deformity where the affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle. Doctors told Roberta she would never be able to run.
Her condition made her embarrassed and ashamed as other children and adults often stared at her. She avoided situations and activities where her deformity would be exposed – activities such as swimming with friends and going to the beach.
As a child, Roberta received extensive surgeries followed by years of physical therapy and at age 8, Roberta was finally able to play outside. Roberta thrived after her club foot surgeries and physical therapy, even taking up running and surfing.
In 1992, Roberta was faced with yet another challenge when she was involved in a car accident that left Roberta with a broken neck. The required surgery to repair her neck was risky and impaired her ability – yet again – to walk and perform daily functions. Her recovery required her to wear a halo brace and receive physical therapy to relearn how to walk. Doctors told Roberta that she would most likely never be able to play sports or run again.
Although it took several years, Roberta defied the odds yet again, and returned to her beloved sport of running. Today, at the young age of 53, Roberta runs 5 to 6 days a week.
Roberta ran in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon as a member of Team Fresh Start. This was her first marathon!
Hayley and her father Bill have been involved in the fight against Huntington’s disease for over a decade. They are passionate about finding a cure for this lethal disease.
Hayley’s mother, Ramona, has Huntington’s disease and is currently in the later stages. Huntington’s disease is an inherited brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of both mental faculties and physical control. Ultimately, the weakened individual succumbs to pneumonia, heart failure or other complications.
Each year, Hayley runs the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon to raise awareness and funds for Huntington’s disease. Over the years, she and her father have raised over $500,000 for Huntington’s disease research. Because Hayley’s mother, Ramona has the disease, Hayley has a 50/50 chance of developing it. Hayley is young, vibrant and determined, and she is tremendously dedicated to the Huntington’s disease community and to finding a cure.
Hayley participated in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon.
Known by many as “Little Tommy,” Tommy Sablan has produced the popular Jeff and Jer Radio Show for 25 years. Over those years, Tommy has used the show as a platform for constant community service and philanthropy.
His most known endeavor is the yearly “Breaking and Entering Christmas,” an event that helps many families in need at Christmas. He is co-founder of the “Hopes and Dreams Academy” which mentors at-risk teens and he frequently speaks to teens about the dangers of drug abuse.
In 2010, just weeks after the San Diego community was devastated to learn of the murder of high-school standout Chelsea King while she was running, Tommy and a few others rallied and quickly organized “Finish Chelsea’s Run” – now an annual event.
Tommy was also instrumental in the creation of a local women’s shelter. After an anonymous woman named “Becky” called the radio show to tell her domestic violence story, Tommy took personal leadership to rescue her from her situation. His efforts and this widely known story led to the creation of “Becky’s House.”
Tommy’s contributions to charitable concerns and individuals are numerous. He is a rare individual who rolls ups his sleeves and gets involved in the lives of others and helps wherever and whenever he can.
Tommy participated in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon.
Mike and Sara Harding married at a young age and always planned on having many children. After many years of trying Sara became pregnant and the couple was thrilled.
When they learned the baby Sara was carrying was a boy, they decided to name him Seamus. Seamus was due in January but on December 29, Sara went into labor. Immediately after delivery, doctors could tell something was very wrong as Seamus could not breathe on his own.
After days of testing at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Mike and Sara were told that Seamus was born without all of his brain and would not be able to survive on his own. Despite this heartbreaking news, Sara and Mike acted selflessly and inquired if Seamus could be an organ donor. The hospital had concerns because Seamus was premature and weighed just over five pounds, and they were not accustomed to working with such a small donor. Mike and Sara were adamant about sharing his organs. They wanted their son to be able to help another child in need and spare another family the same pain of losing a child.
With Mike and Sara’s insistence, the hospital was able to find the resources necessary to give Seamus’ kidneys to a 50-year-old woman who was on dialysis and in desperate need of a transplant. Seamus’ liver cells were also collected to help other children in need of a liver transplant. Both procedures are relatively new and on the cutting edge of medicine. In the face of unimaginable heartache, Mike, Sara and Seamus saved a life and enhanced the lives of others.
Mike walked in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon with the Donate Life team in honor of Seamus.
Guor Marial is a survivor. As a young child, Guor was kidnapped and forced to work in Sudan as a child laborer. Sudanese police broke his jaw with their rifle butts while arresting an uncle who they accused of working with south Sudanese rebels. In 1994, at the age of eight, Guor fled from a refugee camp during the Sudanese Civil War – a war that has robbed Guor of so much including 28 family members, eight of whom were his brothers and sisters. Though his parents survived the civil war, Guor has not seen them in 20 years.
At the age of 16, Guor was granted refugee status by the United States and moved to Concord, New Hampshire where he attended high school and began participating in track and field. Through a scholarship he then went on to Iowa State University and became an All-American Athlete his junior year.
Guor ran his first full marathon in 2012 finishing in 2:14:32 – a time that met the London 2012 Olympics Marathon qualifying standard. Through the tireless efforts of many, Guor became the first athlete to ever compete in the Olympics without a country.
Guor made his half marathon debut in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon and got 4th place!
Guor is a true hero. Despite overcoming obstacles of marathon proportions, he has persevered to stay on course and get to the start and finish lines.