WASHINGTON - It was special commemoration this weekend in Washington as the city marked the 40th Anniversary of "The People's Marathon," the Marine Corps Marathon. But it was a much more personal accomplishment for a north Georgia man that has touched many people's hearts.
A video shared with FOX 5 News shows a man pushing a sports wheelchair to the finish line, but stopping just feet away. What happens next is just simply moving, but knowing the story behind it may bring you to tears.
Jon Crais suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car crash nearly 22 months ago. He emerged after a 3-month coma to start his long fight back. One of the things he always wanted to do was to run a marathon.
That's where Thomas Odom came into the picture. He was paired up Crais through the help of a north Georgia charity. The two were sent to the Marine Corps Marathon with the aid of Connectability, The Ability Experience, and the The Kyle Pease Foundation.
About 26 miles and 383 yards into the marathon, just two yards short of the finish line, Thomas stopped running. Flanked by three Marines, Jon is unstrapped from his chair, and in an act of heroic persistence, he is helped across the finish line on his own two feet.
One of the most moving days I've ever been apart of! So proud to know these guys and all the amazing assisted athletes! Jon Crais, the young man in the wheelchair, suffered a traumatic brain injury from a single car accident almost 22 months ago. He was in a coma for 3 months and overcame many obstacles to be as far along as he is today. He has always wanted to run a marathon. With the help of a local North Georgia organization, Connectability, which provides support for families affected by disabilities, Jon met my husband Thomas. These two were then connected by mutual friends and interests to The Kyle Pease Foundation, who partners with The Ability Experience to race in the Marine Corps Marathon. This finish yesterday was a small glimpse into the unbelievable world of assisted athletes. They are all true heroes. It was a true honor for both of them to participate in the People's Marathon. Connectability: https://connectabilityinc.org/learn-about-us/The Kyle Pease Foundation: http://www.kylepeasefoundation.org/The Ability Experience: http://www.abilityexperience.org/A Small Story on Jon and his journey: http://www.firstgiving.com/team/302001
In a Facebook post shared with FOX 5 News, Mallory Smith Odom called the experience "a small glimpse into the unbelievable world of assisted athletes."
Learn more about Jon and his journey: firstgiving.com/team/ 302001
If you would like to learn more or donate to help other assisted athletes:
The Kyle Pease Foundation: kylepeasefoundation.org
The Ability Experience: abilityexperience.org