Who says Roseann can’t run?

Published On December 3, 2013 | By Alice Cook

On April 15, 2013 Roseann Sdoia  stood at the Boston Marathon finish line waiting for her friends to come in. An avid runner, Roseann ran four to five times a week, 3 to 5 miles.  In a matter of minutes her life would change forever when she lost her right leg in the bombings.  After multiple surgeries and intense rehabilitation, Roseann learned to walk again on a prosthetic.  At that point she wasn’t thinking running would ever be an option.

Then she met Jothy.

Jothy Rosenberg lost his right leg to cancer at age 16.  He learned to excel at other sports, but not running.  The technology for a running prosthesis did not yet exist.  And once it did,  running led to falling. And falling for an amputee is both painful and dangerous.

It was Jothy who reached out  to Roseann and asked if she would like to learn to run with him, and Roseann accepted the challenge.  Their first training session on new running legs was an eye opening.

“When I first tried it on, it felt completely different,” said Roseann. “You have to be conscious every second, because even just standing it buckles. Once it starts buckling you can’t stop it so you go right down.  It’s not if I am going to fall, it’s when I am going to fall. You have to make sure to protect your good leg, because you need your good leg.”

Not much has stopped Jothy from doing anything he wants through the years.  The day he met Roseann he suggested  they try a number of sports together.  Roseann shook her head ‘no’ when swimming, biking and skiing were mentioned.  She wanted a more level playing field.

As Jothy recalls, “She just turned to me and said, you know, I read a little about you, and I know you are not a runner, so I pick running because I’m a runner and I am going to kick your ass.”

Roseann’s first responder was Boston Firefighter Mike Meteria. The man who helped save her is now her boyfriend.  Last summer in Nantucket he coined a phrase that Roseann will carry for life.

“We were in a restuarant, and some guy said ‘we have a handicapped person coming through.’   Mike just stopped and looked at him and said, “she is handi-capable.”

“It’s something I feel when I am in my own little bubble,” says Roseann. “I don’t feel handicapped at all. I feel handi-capable.  And there is nothing I can’t do except learn to run again, but that will come.”

Each and every step of Roseann and Jothy’s determined effort will be recorded.  It will be produced as a documentary titled, “Who say Roseann Can’t Run

Please watch the video below.  And if you would like to contribute to their efforts, visit Kickstarter.com and search Who Says Roseann Can’t Run.




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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and Boston.com. She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.