Running for My Life, Winning for CMT


Christine Wodke

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Imagine having to pay attention to every step as you run a race so you don’t trip and fall. Imagine wondering when the blisters and burning in your feet will start. Imagine standing at the starting line of a race and wondering if you will have enough energy to finish the race. Author Christine Wodke does not have to imagine. As an athlete with Charcot-Marie Tooth Disorder, she faces these challenges every time she lines up to compete in marathons and triathlons. Charcot-Maire-Tooth Disorder, or CMT, affects 1 in 2,500 Americans or 155,000 people across the nation. It is the biggest disease no one has ever heard of. When Wodke was diagnosed with CMT in 2010, she realized she was lucky to be running and doing triathlons at all. Patients with CMT were once told to go home and rest. It was thought exercise would accelerate the condition. It didn’t seem right to Chris Wodke that no one have ever heard of a disease affecting so many Americans. She set the goal of running the Boston Marathon and other high-profile events to change public awareness and perception of CMT. This is the story of her journey.