The Medtronic Foundation welcomed its Global Heroes to Minnesota, where they were honored and participated in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and 10-Mile Race.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. (October 14, 2016) – As thousands of runners crossed the finish line in St. Paul, Minnesota Sunday, it marked the end of months of training.
But for the Medtronic Foundation’s Global Heroes it’s only the beginning.
“I have no words to describe how happy I am,” said Lucia Regina Nogas-Milani from Brazil. “I can’t wait to bring all this energy back home and make a difference.”
Nogas-Milani was a member of the 2016 Global Heroes team, a program honoring long-distance runners living with chronic diseases who benefit from medical technology. This year, 26 Global Heroes were selected from all around the world and invited for a weekend of events in Minneapolis, capped off by running in the 2016 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon or Medtronic Twin Cities 10-Mile race.
For the Global Heroes, the weekend represents an opportunity to get to know others with similar struggles and accomplishments.
“You’re around people doing amazing things,” said Albert Olivella del Olmo from Spain. “They are back to doing what they want to do after being helped by technology. It’s very motivational.”
Olivella del Olmo, who lives with an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes, is the co-director of an organization in Spain that helps other people manage their own disease. He says his experience as a Global Hero will encourage others.
“This is a great story to bring back to them,” he said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”
Debbie Powers from Saint Augustine, Florida, lives with a pacemaker, but organizes exercise programs and activities for senior adults. She says others will be inspired because of her participation as a Global Hero.
"I couldn't believe all the events they planned for us this weekend," said Powers. "I have developed strong relationships with the other Global Heroes that will encourage me to inspire others."
Global Heroes is a program of the Medtronic Foundation. Global Heroes receive complimentary race entry, air transportation, meals and lodging through the program. Participants submit applications online, which are reviewed and selected by Twin Cities In Motion, the non-profit organization that directs the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.