Marathons allow 35-year-old Shawn Wickard to set personal goals and reach far beyond what doctors have said he might accomplish. During his nine-year battle with lupus and transverse myelitis, Wickard has met challenges time and again - from learning to walk 18 times, to regaining his speech or working through the paralysis that affects his arms.
My mantra is 'I label myself, I don't let a white coat or a disease label me,'" said Wickard, one of the first patients of the National Institutes of Health to receive a stem cell transplant for lupus just 22 months ago. "That's why I'm able to walk now."