Seventy-one-year-old Mary Nay was born with cerebral palsy. Wednesday was her birthday, and she wanted to celebrate by marking a personal milestone.
“I walked two and a half miles today: 30 laps around the track,” said Nay.She says at one time she never thought she would achieve this milestone, which happened at the ACAC at Albemarle Square. Nay was born with cerebral palsy and for 25 years, experienced limited mobility. That all changed when she became part of an ACAC program called P.R.E.P., or Physician Referred Exercise Program.
“She was a patient who really wanted to take that step forward and wanted to get stronger and improve her independence,” said Dr. R. Bentley Calhoun. “Everybody’s at different levels. We see about 150 patients start the program a month. We’ve seen about 13,000 in the past seven years,” said Kelly Lynn, a physician liaison. Nay’s transition was like going from night to day; she had taken four steps by herself at home and two on the track. To really test herself, she made it her goal last year to walk one mile, but this time she wanted to up the ante by walking two.
“Anyone here or that’s hearing this who doesn’t think exercise can help—they are wrong,” said Nay. She stuck it out and now, surrounded by her very own cheering section of family and ACAC staff, Nay made it her mission to push herself for an extra half-mile. “A lot of times I didn’t want to come. A lot of things I didn’t want to try, I did,” said Nay.
Nay hopes her story proves that with a little determination, anything is possible.