16hero, Paul Carey

Paul Carey

On his 31st birthday, Paul Carey walked out of a psychiatric hospital where he was being treated for the bipolar disorder that had been his challenge since age 12.

Looking for a holistic approach to treating his bipolar disorder, he learned of the Tri-City Wellness Center Lucky 13 program. The program chooses 13 applicants each year who are overcoming health obstacles and helps them to achieve their fitness goals and complete the Carlsbad half marathon.
The program was attractive to Paul because it was natural, all-inclusive, and would help him to run his first half marathon. He never imagined just how much being chosen for the Lucky 13 program would change his life.
With the help of the Lucky 13 program, Paul trained for and completed his first half marathon in January 2011. He was so inspired by his Tri-City Wellness Center trainers, he became a certified personal trainer and returned to school where he’s currently studying kinesiology.

Paul’s transformation and commitment to taking control of his life and health also inspired his father who committed to an exercise and diet program that may well have altered the course of his Stage 4 prostate cancer.

Paul is now the Lucky 13 program coordinator and lead trainer, and not only develops the group’s program, but also creates individual training plans to meet the specific needs of each of the Lucky 13 members.

Paul is incredibly compassionate and selfless. He runs each race with his Lucky 13 team, cheering them on and motivating them every step of the way to the finish line.

Paul participated in the half marathon with the 2016 Lucky 13 team and many more Lucky 13 alumni.

16hero Sarah S

Sarah Jayyousi

10 years ago, Sarah Jayyousi feared her life was over and worried about leaving her 5-year old behind when she was diagnosed with late stage 3 breast cancer.
Doctors immediately began an aggressive cancer treatment program, but that was complicated because of immune system suppressants she needed to take to treat her Lupus condition. And if those two health issues were not enough, Sarah also suffers from a sun allergy.

The medications Sarah is required to take daily produce side effects including weight gain, and she struggled on her own to improve her physical health.

She learned of the Tri-City Medical Center Lucky 13 program and applied. She had no idea at the time just how being selected for the program would change her life.

Half marathon training and a sun allergy are not exactly compatible as gearing up to run a 13.1 mile race requires 6 months of training which means many miles on the road. But, if Sarah was not going to let her cancer stop her, she surely was not going to let her sun allergy either. As a fellow Lucky 13 team member told us “she gets out there with sun protective gear and a smile on her face, holds her head high and gets it done!”
Sarah’s team members describe her as compassionate with a grateful heart and credit her with setting the tone for the entire team this year.

Through the Lucky 13 program, Sarah has made new friends she plans to keep for life. She’s also gained confidence in her cancer recovery and a newfound focus on her overall health rather than the scale. But most importantly, Sarah is setting a great example for her daughter, who recently told her “I am proud of you mom for doing this!”

Sarah participated in the half marathon.

16hero Shauna

Sharon Shaffer

Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene.

Sharon Shaffer is a hero because she’s kicking some Huntington’s disease ass!

Sharon was diagnosed over 10 years ago and was forced to medically retire in 2007. She is no longer able to drive or be left unsupervised.

Sharon turned to exercise which helps slow the progression of her motor symptoms and serves as a social and emotional outlet. She enjoys doing Crossfit in her completely outfitted home gym and decided she wanted to run in the Carlsbad Half Marathon.

The past year Sharon’s HD symptoms worsened and she suffered several falls including one on the morning of her 49th birthday during a training run. Despite a fractured collarbone, Sharon got online that day and paid her entry fee for the Carlsbad half just to ensure that no one would try to talk her out of it!

The Shaffer family is committed to eradicating this deadly disease! They have raised tens of thousands of dollars for a cure.

Sharon’s best friend, her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend all participated with her in the half marathon.

16hero Shauna Sadowski

Shauna Sadowski

On July 18th, 2012 Shauna Sadowski was in a terrible motorcycle accident that nearly claimed her life.
She was airlifted to the hospital where she spent 8 days in an induced coma. She suffered a punctured lung, lacerated liver, separated shoulder, nerve damage and a broken sternum, clavicle, ribs, humerus, radius, wrist, and fingers.

She needed plates, screws and rods to put her back together. Doctors told her she was lucky to be alive. Shauna spent the next year under the care of Tri-City Medical Center as she completed her rehabilitation.

Shauna has been very dedicated to her half marathon training even when she sustained an injury in the first few weeks. She went to the pool to work out or sat in a chair and did upper body strength training.

Shauna and her husband Lui are both participants in this year’s Lucky 13 program. Not feeling himself following a training bike ride, Lui took himself to the Tri-City Medical Center emergency department. Doctors found he was on the verge of a heart attack and had four arteries blocked. Shortly thereafter, Lui underwent a quadruple bypass surgery and has worked hard ever since to keep his body and heart healthy.

Shauna and Lui both participated in the half marathon.

16hero Tonya

Tonya Petchel

Tonya Petchel began running in 2013 at the age of 43 and fell in love with the sport. She ran several shorter races before completing her first half marathon right here in Carlsbad in 2014. That same year, Tonya completed the Half Marathon Triple Crown – a challenge that requires completing the Carlsbad, La Jolla and America’s Finest City half marathons in the same calendar year. She ran 18 races in all that year, so safe to say she was hooked!

Tonya was so enamored with running that she decided to run a full marathon and chose the 2016 Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon.

On a training run for her marathon Tonya began experiencing unusual pain in her side. She knew something was wrong and went to her doctor. Four months later and just this past May, Tonya was told she had stage 4 advanced liver cancer and only months to live.

Tonya feels her running is a big reason she is here today. Since there are no nerve endings in the liver, people often don’t know they have liver cancer until it is literally too late. She believes running is what made her in tune enough with her body to notice something was wrong. Additionally, she feels her training not only strengthened the rest of her body, but also prepared her mentally for her fight against cancer.

When Tonya’s friends and family found out that cancer would crush her dream of completing her first full marathon (for now) they decided to come from around the country and joined her as she crossed the half marathon finish line.

Tonya is a fighter. She’s received two state-of-the-art direct radiation treatments, months of chemotherapy and will begin another series of chemotherapy starting only days after her January 17 race.

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