When you consider everything that Eric Donoho has been through – the head, neck and brain injuries, the suicides of his close friends and the cancer diagnosis and multiple miscarriages suffered by his wife – it’s almost a miracle that he is still standing. Yet this resilient Army veteran is not just standing, but thriving thanks to the sport of running, which this week took him to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
Donoho from Indianapolis, Ind., has already endured a lifetime of challenges. Shortly after he was deployed to Iraq, his wife suffered the first of several miscarriages. Then, Donoho was severely wounded in combat, sustaining head, neck and brain injuries. Even when he returned home, misfortune followed him. His wife was diagnosed with cancer and he lost two of his military buddies to suicide.
But running has been a lifesaver. Through the support of an Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) program funded by a Cigna Foundation grant, he has used running to help ease life’s many pains, making him an inspiration for others who are battling similar challenges. Buoyed by the fact that his wife was eventually able to deliver two healthy children, he is running the Walt Disney World 5K and gaining admirers every mile.