If You Believe You Can, You Will: John’s Story

If You Believe You Can, You Will: John’s Story

In the fall of 2020, a near-fatal bilateral pulmonary embolism came from nowhere, cause unknown. As a 14-time marathoner and in the best shape of my life, this came as a complete shock.

Following my diagnosis, I was put on blood thinners. As an athlete, adjusting to the blood thinners was a challenge. I was forced to overcome the fears associated with my pulmonary embolism as well as the bleeding risks associated with being on blood thinners.

During my recovery I read stories on the National Blood Clot Alliance website, including one story about a woman who suffered a similar clotting experience but battled back and ran the Chicago Marathon in 2019. She inspired me. It was not a straight line, and I almost quit several times. But the long hard battle back resulted in completing my 15th marathon on October 3, 2021.

If you believe you can, you will.

My advice for others would be to listen to your body and take things one day at a time. The stories here were a huge saving grace in those first few weeks after diagnosis. Being part of this community assured me that I’m not alone.

Try to set mini goals and keep a positive outlook and you can get back to a new normal.


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The personal story is intended for informational purposes only. The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) holds the rights to all content that appears on its website. The use by another organization or online group of any content on NBCA’s website, including patient stories that appear here, does not imply that NBCA is connected to these other organizations or groups or condones or endorses their work. Please contact info@stoptheclot.org with questions about this matter.

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