ABC News(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Cheri Srour may be confined to a wheelchair most days, but that didn't stop the 29-year-old from finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Florida on her own two feet last weekend.
Srour suffers from a rare autoimmune neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. When she was 18, the disease left her completely paralyzed, on a ventilator and unable to speak. Over the years, Srour slowly recovered some movement in her body, and in 2016, was healthy enough to participate in her first Disney Princess Half Marathon. Friends and family pushed her wheelchair along the 13.1-mile race course through Walt Disney World Resort, cheering her on along the way.
“We were the first runners to run out of 26,000 runners, so it was an exciting experience from the start,” Srour told ABC News' Good Morning America.
The next year, Srour made the race an annual event for herself. She finished the 2017 Disney Princess Half Marathon pushing her wheelchair through the last portion of the race. Then, after lots of physical therapy, time and effort put into recovering, Cheri was back and stronger than ever for her 2018 race, where she made something amazing happen.
“I switched places with my brother-in-law who was pushing me and he sat in the wheelchair and I pushed him across the finish line! It was something I hadn't been able to do in over 10 years,” she said.
But Srour wasn’t done yet. At this year's marathon, she crossed the finish line with no wheelchair in sight.
“I was speechless,” Srour said. “I couldn't believe that it actually happened. I thought I was just going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life and I had to be okay with that, and the fact that I've been progressing — it's encouraging.”
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