Filipina caregiver, amputee, and marathon runner raises funds for prosthetics

CALGARY, ALBERTA — Verna Marzo has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle since she came to Canada in 2001 as a caregiver.

Through the years, she brought her sisters to Canada and even started her own cleaning business.

But in early 2017, she was diagnosed with a cyst in her uterus. Sepsis is an infection of the body, and for Marzo, it caused dire complications.

In order to save her life, her doctors amputated her arms and legs.

Marzo says her friends, family, and her faith in God was her source of strength throughout the whole ordeal.

She learned how to walk again with the use of prosthetics.

Determined to life to the fullest, Marzo participated in the Hope Ethiopia marathon.

“Last year, even when I was in the hospital, my friends took me out from the hospital for day pass, so I joined pero hindi ako masyado nakapaglakad, nilagay lang ako sa wheelchair just to participate.”

She hopes to have better prosthesis so she can continue her passion for running — that’s why her family has started a GoFundMe page to help her raise money for running blades.

“Iyung magandang prosthesis ngayon na nagagawa niya lahat lahat pero [the] costs.”

For now, Marzo hopes to inspire others like her.

“I will make myself as a hope for those people who lost their limbs, who are undergoing tough times, parang ako iyung magsilbi na example na so that they will think there is hope, that it is possible to live life to the fullest.”

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