Jim Ross

Jim Ross is 87 years young and according to his family “he just never stops!”

Jim worked for the Los Angeles Fire Department until he was 70 years old and has been a public servant most of his life.

Jim was one of the oldest to finish a 60-mile, round-trip waterski race to Catalina, in addition to setting world speed records with his race boats. He still rides his bike for miles, cruises on his motorcycle down the coast and offroad as well.

Jim is always helping his neighbors and family, and is loved by all. Jim Ross sets the example of no matter how old you are, you can still do anything you set your mind to.

He amazes all that meet him.

Jim is the father to three daughters, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with one more on the way. Jim’s bride of 66 years completed the half marathon two years ago and they are quite the couple!

Jim will participated in the Carlsbad Half Marathon along with his daughter and two grandchildren.

Download 2

Pictured: Leticia with her son Robby (who also has NF) in 2009 when he was 14 years old and completed his first half marathon with
his mom right next to him.

Leticia Leano

Several weeks after giving birth to her oldest son Marcus, Leticia experienced paralysis below the waist. She had an MRI to find out why and was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder two of her four sons were also diagnosed with.

Doctors later found a tumor in her spine and removed it, but she still had a tough time
walking. A couple of years later, Leticia began running to improve her health and overcome her feelings about having NF in her family, since her two sons showed signs of and faced challenges with the condition.

As she started running, she got better at it and inspired her sons with her new openness
about NF and her intention to live a fulfilling and healthy life.

Her son Robby has taken his mother’s lead and talked about his NF at school and even
started running to overcome his motor skills challenges. He has gone from the slowest in his class at a 12-minute-per-mile pace to an impressive 7:30-minute-per-mile pace.

Robby is 16 years old and now runs for his school’s cross country team. He also ran his first full marathon this year in under 5 hours!

Leticia is a huge inspiration of will and determination that NF won’t get her or her family down!

Leticia participated in the Carlsbad Marathon.

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Melissa Cappuccilli

An irregular heartbeat back in 1999 was the first indication that this 37-year-old Navy nurse was
in trouble.

Since she was a nurse, she went to her physician’s office at the Naval Hospital Camp
Pendleton and he personally walked her to the emergency room.

Melissa was a single mom and active duty nurse with no history of family heart problems. She
was diagnosed with ARVD (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia) which tends to be
genetic. Her Navy career was suddenly over because there was no way she could be
deployed and ARVD can lead to death.

Treatment and medication were now her life including being implanted with an AICD
(automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator) which monitors her heart and delivers an electric shock if her heart goes into an abnormal rhythm.

Two years ago, Melissa was in heart failure and referred to Dr. Peter Hoagland who told her
she would need a heart transplant. She spent her last month waiting for a new heart in the
hospital because she was too sick to be home.

She received her new heart in November 2013 and two months later she was out volunteering
on Donate Life’s mile of the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon. Melissa was one of the most enthusiastic volunteers out there!

This year she was selected as one of the Tri-City Medical Center Lucky 13 and was out on
the course running for team Donate Life in her first half marathon!

Melissa wants to share her story and make a difference in the lives of others by checking “yes” at the DMV or by signing up at

She planned to continue to complete the La Jolla Half Marathon and America’s Finest City Half Marathon to complete the Half Marathon Triple Crown following the Carlsbad Half. Melissa feels by doing this she is showing that organ donation really works!

Melissa participated in the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

Download 4

Pictured: Michael on the left at the 2014
Shamrock with Maggie Seymour and Jennie
Rainey who together guided Michael to
the finish line while pushing Bella Yates, an
amazing rider-athlete who has Autism.


Michael Davis

When Michael’s mother was five months pregnant, her car was totaled in an
accident. She and her baby survived but the trauma left Michael legally blind
with worsening vision.

Michael’s failing vision hasn’t stopped him from any of his goals – college, marriage, and running marathons including two Boston Marathons and an upcoming 3rd!

Michael isn’t content to accomplish these goals on his own, he wants to help others experience the thrill and pure joy of running and racing. He does so through organizations such as Team Hoyt and Ainsley’s Angels, where he pushes special needs children in distances ranging from 5K’s to full marathons.

“I feel a sort of special needs bond with the children when my hands are on the
jogger. They make me go faster.”

Michael Davis is not only his own hero, he’s a selfless hero for others.

Michael participated in the Carlsbad Marathon.

Download 5

Tina Knight

Running a half marathon is tough enough, but imagine doing it after losing a kidney
and most of your fingers and toes. That is a reality for Tina Knight, 53, from Oceanside.

Tina was a St. Patrick’s Day miracle in 1999 when she contracted sepsis and nearly
died. She was in a coma for 8 days and the doctors told her that she’d be on dialysis
for the rest of her life. Through nothing short of a miracle, Tina pulled through. Today,
she is off of dialysis and thriving.

Tina had never run before applying for and being accepted as one of this year’s
Tri-City Medical Center Lucky 13. Lucky 13 members are carefully chosen and then
provided six months of training to prepare them for the Carlsbad Half Marathon. Tina
saw running a half marathon as the perfect opportunity to optimize her health. And
not only has she challenged herself to run her first half marathon but she’s also
planning to complete the ViaSat Half Marathon Triple Crown, a trio of Southern
California half marathons.

Tina is an inspiration to anyone who meets her. Not only is she running three half
marathons despite overcoming significant health challenges, but she’s also constantly
supporting her other Lucky 13 teammates. When one of her fellow Lucky 13 misses a
run, she calls, texts and emails to check in on them. Tina is a born leader and has
triumphed over adversity. She is perfectly suited to be a Hero of the Marathon.

Tina participated in the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

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