A young woman who lost her leg after suffering from a rare form of cancer has shared an inspirational video of herself running again for the first time.
25-year-old Marisa Cogswell from Austin, Texas, was diagnosed with having synovial sarcoma last year, a form of cancer which affects only one in a million people worldwide.
With the disease occurring primarily in either the arms or legs, often near the knee, Marisa had to go through six rounds of chemotherapy and have a below the knee amputation of her left foot as treatment.
Before her diagnosis Marisa loved running, heading out for a jog every single day, training to do a 5K before she found out she was pregnant.
While Marisa wanted to get back to training after giving birth to her daughter, her plans had to change following her diagnosis.
Now having been given a prosthetic leg, over a year after her amputation Marisa ran for the first time jogging down a corridor in the hospital.
You can watch a video of the emotional moment here:
Sharing the video on Reddit, Marisa was glad when it went viral receiving over 4,900 upvotes at time of writing (November 5).
Speaking to UNILAD, Marisa explained why she shared the video saying she hoped it would inspire others who are in a similar situation:
It has certainly been a long and chaotic journey but I’m glad I’m still here for my daughter. Prior to being diagnosed I was depressed about life and my situation but now I feel like I’m actually living. I am so grateful for everything I have.
Now that I have my permanent leg I can finally reach my goal of competing in a 5K. I told my physical therapist that my goal was to run again and I am so happy I am getting there.
Running for the first time felt amazing. To be able to do something I loved again after everything I had been through felt like a well deserved accomplishment.
That moment is truly special to me. I also hoped my video would encourage and inspire others that they too can truly accomplish anything if they truly want it.
Marisa admits that while she does have low days with anxiety still being a part of her life, it doesn’t ‘control’ her in the way it did before her diagnosis and having one leg won’t stop her from living.
Her positivity and optimism really is inspiring!
Although now Marisa is positive from recently celebrating being nine months free of cancer, her diagnosis was both devastating and shocking.
Having had a bump on her left foot for years, doctors always wrote it off as a cyst. It was only when a podiatrist offering to remove it did they discover it was cancerous.
Marisa told UNILAD she feared the worst when she was given the news:
Even though I had cancer in the back of my mind it just didn’t seem real. When he sat me down in the room the first words he said to me was ‘well, you have cancer’. Everything he said after that just went over my head.
My mind went straight to my six-weeks old daughter. I didn’t want to die and leave my daughter motherless. At that point we had no idea if the cancer had spread so I felt like I had been given a death sentence.
I had this bump for years, so I just assumed it was everywhere else. Luckily, I had a CT scan the next day that said I was clear and I could take a small breath. I knew I still had chemotherapy ahead of me but it didn’t feel like this sarcoma was a death sentence anymore. I could tackle it.
While Marisa does worry her cancer may return, for now she is just living her best life and is looking forward to the day she can compete in that 5K.
We’re sure it won’t be long now Marisa! Keep staying strong!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.