WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Running 26.2 miles is an accomplishment for anyone, especially if you’re living with a physical condition, like multiple sclerosis.
He might look like the average Boston Marathon runner, but when Bernardo Cuadra crosses the finish line Monday, he’ll reach a milestone millions before him never could: completing a 26.2 mile race after getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I’m healthy enough to run, and I just wanted to take advantage of that.”
It all started four years ago, when Bernardo noticed something wasn’t quite right. He said, “My initial symptom was double vision, and that lasted about a month.”
Months later, he was diagnosed with MS. “When I first was diagnosed, I sort of struggled with the idea of what would happen down the road in 5, 10 years.”
But he also knew he didn’t want to let a disease hold him back, which is why he signed up to run the Boston Marathon as part of the National MS Society. After months of training and fundraising, he’ll finally cross the finish line with his team, The Marathon Strides against MS.
More than a dozen of Bernardo’s family members will be at the finish line to cheer him on as he finishes the race, but they won’t be his only fans on Boylston Street. His MS support group is also driving in a bus from CT to Boston just watch him run in the Boston Marathon.
“The reason and the goal for him and for us, is certainly a great situation, a great event for us,” said Bernardo’s father Hugo.
Bernardo says through this journey, his 8 year-old son Dillon has been one of his biggest motivators.
Once the race is over, he hopes one message will continue to resonate with him: “If you’re dedicated to it, that you can actually achieve what you’re trying to get, so I hope he picks that up from all of this.”
A message that will likely resonate with hundreds of others.