Tampa Area Army Veteran Overcomes Severe Spinal Injury to Complete 10-Miler at runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 16, 2023) – Nathalia Paradise, 36, an Army veteran from the Tampa area tackled the Disney Pixar Toy Story 10-Miler during runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend despite suffering a severe spinal injury a few months ago. And she did it as a relentless runner who uses a walker along the course.

As a result of a slip-and-fall at home in November, she has to grapple with constant pain, frequent falls and the inability to sometimes control her legs. Doctors said she would never run again and her mobility from the waist down would be limited. As someone who was very physically active and an avid runner, getting such a diagnosis was devastating.

But none of that stopped her. Nathalia, who is also a cancer survivor, was determined to get back to running. Since the spinal injury, she spends four days a week in physical and occupational therapy. And four months later, Nathalia ran the 10-Miler during runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort.

While she will likely have to manage the lingering issues of the spinal injury for the rest of her life, Nathalia is grateful for the opportunity to run again and to do it at Walt Disney World.

runDisney helped me regain independence, a renewed infinite love for sport, and a sense of accomplishment that I thought to be lost to me forever,” said Nathalia.

Nathalia ran The Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon) during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January.

runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend is the fourth and final on-site race weekend during the 2022-23 runDisney season. Beginning this summer, the runDisney Summer Virtual Series takes place from June – August 2023 with general registration beginning April 25.