Face of the Race: Nancy’s Story

Illinois Marathon

When you step foot on the University of Illinois campus on a weekday, it is easy to see just how hurried things are. From students walking to class, to busses whizzing past, it is all about keeping up a fast pace. However, on a quiet stretch of Wright Street, Nancy Warner is an admitted exception to the rule. It is because Warner, who came in last place during her first Presence Health 5K several years ago, is happy to be able to walk in the event at all. 

“Accomplishments can be measured in different ways, just to cross the 50 yard line is a perfect accomplishment.” says Warner 

The past decade has brought many challenges for Warner. First, her son Jack Schumacher was severely injured while serving in the military in Afghanistan. His injuries were so severe that he needed to have his leg amputated. After months of caring for Jack, Nancy returned home and had a routine colonoscopy, where it was discovered that she had colon cancer. 

“Towards the very very end of my chemotherapy, I had an anaphylactic reaction to the chemotherapy drugs. and that’s what caused me to become disabled.” says Warner. 
Warner was confined to a wheelchair following the nerve and neurological damage that occurred from the drug reaction. It was then that her son Jack stepped in to help her regain her strength. Starting little by little, Nancy began walking again with the help of a standing walker, and later, with mountain climbing sticks. Now, ready to tackle another 5K, Nancy is proud to be able to do what she is doing. 
“I’m living the most abundant life, even more exciting that just coming to work and coming home.” says Warner. 
This year, Warner says she is looking forward to having her best time yet in the 5K, and hopes to be able to walk it with even more ease than in previous years. 

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