CARY: Woman with spina bifida runs in Tobacco Road Marathon - WRBL

Woman with spina bifida runs in Tobacco Road Marathon

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Greta Greeson was born with spina bifida, but that didn't stop her from finishing her seventh half-marathon. Greta Greeson was born with spina bifida, but that didn't stop her from finishing her seventh half-marathon.
CARY, N.C. -

Thousands of runners from across the state hit the streets of Cary Sunday morning for the annual Tobacco Road Marathon.

A few hours after the race started, runners began to cross the finish line. It was a goal for one North Carolina woman who was competing against the odds.

Greta Greeson was born with spina bifida. She doesn't have any calf muscles and never even thought she'd walk, let alone run in a marathon. But despite her setbacks, she wasn't going to let that keep her on the sidelines. 

"I just like to be able to do what people say I can't," Greeson said. 

Doctors said Greeson couldn't do a lot when she was born with spina bifida, meaning her spine wasn't completely developed.

"I've had a lot of feet surgeries and back surgeries," she said. More than 40 surgeries later, Greeson was able to do see the finish line of her half-marathon run. 

"Events like this are the reason why we run," said Octavio Soares as he stood on the side with a sign of support for those who ran. "It's kind of a culmination of all the effort all the training that we put into it and getting together to run an event like this is an accomplishment. It's a milestone of your training and your development." 

All of the profits from the Tobacco Road Marathon helped raise money for Wounded Warriors, Juvenile Diabetes Research, The American Red Cross and Rails to Trails Conservancy. The marathon is in its fourth year, and every year the crowds and the cash grows.

"Last year we raised over $300,000," said the Tobacco Road Marathon Marketing Director Mark Dill. "We'll be up over $400,000 in charity after this race. Next year we'll hit the big half a million mark."

Meanwhile, with her seventh half-marathon in the bag, Greeson says she won't stop here. 

"My motto is never say can't, she said.  "If I can do it, you can do it."

Marathon officials qualify 10 percent of their runners for the Boston Marathon.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Shumuriel Ratliff

Shumuriel, a North Carolina native, is thrilled to be back in the Tar Heel state as a general assignment reporter for WNCN.
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