The Associated Press
BOSTON (April 14, 2001 11:51 p.m. EDT) - At 26, Katherine Lynch - who weighs
only 35 pounds and stands 28 inches tall - has overcome more obstacles than
most of her peers.
She has a unique,
unidentified form of dwarfism, suffers from circulatory problems and back
pain, and spends most of her time in a wheelchair or a walker.
But Lynch faces another
challenge on Monday: she plans to toe the starting line of the Boston
Marathon and walk 26.2 feet in 15 minutes with no help.
"If I can't do this
thing, would I consider myself a failure? I don't like to think of it as
failure because to me failure is a totally different matter," Lynch
told the Boston Globe. "If you consider yourself a failure, you're
giving up all sense of hope."
Lynch was only 13 inches
long and weighed four pounds 13 ounces when she was born a month after her
due date. Doctors wrongly diagnosed her as retarded and predicted she would
But her parents tried to
provide a normal family life, and Lynch graduated with honors from high
school, where she managed the women's indoor track team and wrestling team.
She graduated summa cum laude from Regis College and now works at Boston
Children's Hospital as an advocate for sick children, their parents and
She also moonlights as a
motivational speaker, championing the cause of the physically challenged.
Lynch's economics professor at Regis College, calls her an inspiration.
"When I first met
her ... all I saw were her limitations," says Mulholland. "I
learned more from her than from any other student. When I think back now,
I'm almost ashamed of my initial thoughts."
Lynch's father Chris
Lynch said he revels in his daughter's accomplishments
"You look and you
see her going through this, working so hard to meet her own goals, and then
you look at your own life and what you do and you say, 'Gee, that's not so
hard, actually, compared to other things,"' Lynch said. "It puts
life into perspective. So it's pride plus."