Agoracom Blog

Glenn Cunnigham Should Have Lost His Legs – But Set World Records

Posted by AGORACOM at 12:07 PM on Monday, April 28th, 2008

Good afternoon to you all. The following has nothing to do with investor relations, the small-cap world or Web 2.0. It has everything to do with the gift of life and how some people are able to live it to the fullest despite having the odds stacked against them.

Until 20 minutes ago, I didn’t know the story of Glenn Cunningham (Wikipedia Profile). Cunningham set a world record for the mile and indoor world records for the 1.500 meters and the mile. What is miraculous is the following (courtesy of The Adam Ad Group):


As a little six year old boy, he had the job of heating his tiny country schoolhouse with his older brother. They came in early so the building was warm when everyone arrived. One February morning in 1916, the stove exploded, killing the older brother and leaving the little boy with incredible burns brutalizing the lower half of his body.

From his hospital bed the painfully burned, semi-conscious little boy faintly heard the doctor telling his mother that her son would surely die – which was for the best because the poor little boy would surely be a cripple. But this boy wasn’t quitting! He made up his mind then and there that he would survive.

Every day his mother would massage his little lifeless legs, but there was no feeling, no control, nothing. Yet the determination that he would walk was as strong as ever. One sunny day his mother wheeled him out into the yard to get some fresh air. Instead of sitting there, he threw himself from the chair, pulled himself across the grass and raised himself up on the picket fence. He then proceeded to drag himself along the fence, determined that he would walk again. He did this every day until he wore a path along the fence.

Through his daily massages, his iron persistence and his resolute determination, he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk with assistance, then to walk by himself – and then – to run. He began to walk to school and then to run to school.

And run he did. This little boy that was told he would never walk again, made the track team in college and then one day in Madison Square Garden, this young man who was not expected to survive, who would absolutely never walk, who could never ever dream of running – this determined young man, Glenn Cunningham, ran the world’s fastest mile!


Great story. I’m glad I came across it. Had to share it. Hope you feel the same.


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