Jami Marseilles recently became the first bilateral amputee woman to complete a marathon. According to a press release from Össur, for which Marseilles is an ambassador, Marseilles ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12 in 6 hours and 27 minutes. Her average pace was 14:47 minutes per mile. Marseilles is 46 years old.
“Setting this goal was intense, mentally and physically, but finishing the marathon was not a choice; it was a necessity,” Marseilles stated in the release. “I appreciate everyone who cheered me on, from close and afar, and am grateful for all of the support I have received from Össur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation throughout my journey as an athlete. The race was everything I imagined and more.”
In 1988, Marseilles had both legs amputated due to gangrene caused by severe frostbite after she and a friend were trapped in a car in a snowbank for 11 days. She became a runner after her amputations and has set records as a sprinter and a distance runner.
“We salute Jami, both as an athlete and as an inspirational role model to people everywhere,” Jón Sigurðsson, the chief executive officer of Össur, stated in the release. “She truly embodies what it means to live a life without limitations.”
Marseilles added, “This journey of life is short and before you blink, it goes. My philosophy is: just because you have lost a limb does not mean your life is over. There is a whole lot of living that we get to experience and staying physically healthy will support my mobility to live my life to the fullest.”