Two years ago, North Andover Middle School history teacher Carrie LaPierre, suffered not one but two strokes.
“They misdiagnosed my first one for two weeks,” said LaPierre, now 40, of Amesbury. “It was until the second one that they realized I had a stroke, which was unusual for my age.”
LaPierre’s was temporarily paralyzed on the left side of her body. She spent four days in the hospital, was out of work for two months and ordered to keep away from strenuous activity for six months.
“It was a real low point for me,” recalled LaPierre.
As she was feeling sorry for herself one day she decided that was going to end. And after a few months of tennis and golf, she felt that those activities weren’t enough.
“I wanted to do something big,” said LaPierre. “Really big. A friend of mine, Eileen Schneider (of Georgetown), was running the Boston Marathon for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She helped get me a number to run the Boston Marathon and the rest is history.”
Pun intended. The fact that the Boston Marathon is the oldest road race in the world and the fact that she is a history teacher made this marriage a must.
“Sure, I was crazy,” said LaPierre. “I had never run a road race before, of any distance, never mind a marathon. It hit me that I had to do the Boston Marathon.”
She decided to raise money in the name of one her teaching heroes, retired N.A.M.S. teacher, Cindy Amor, who has since retired before overcoming cancer.
“Cindy is a legend to a lot of teachers in North Andover,” said LaPierre. “She showed everybody you can overcome adversity when things are tough. She was a big help for me.”
Raising $4,000, LaPierre realized yesterday was a piece of cake compared to running 26.2 miles.