Originally from Huntington Beach California, Jami Marseilles says that she never did much with her legs when she did have them, and she certainly never would have expected herself to ever try running a marathon, much less with prosthetic legs.
But, when Marseilles was 19, she lost both of her legs to frost bite and was then fitted with prosthetics. It was then that she did start exercising, and eight years after that she decided to try running. Now, she’s decided she wants to become the first female bi-lateral amputee to complete a full marathon. It took another eight years before she tried running.
At Chicago Marathon, Marseilles will attempt to become the first female bilateral amputee to run a marathon. If other women have done so, Marseilles is not aware of them. She says she’d enjoy finding other bilateral amputees who want to take on the challenge.
“I’d love to find those women and push them to run with me,” Marseilles told Runner’s World.
If the run goes well, Marseilles, who will turn 47 next month, hopes to qualify to run April’s Boston Marathon (where the qualifying standards and entry window is different for athletes with disabilities). Through her work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), Marseilles says she’s worked with several women who survived the Boston Marathon bombings, and she would like to honor them.
“My ultimate goal is to run Boston as a tribute to them and how much they’ve enhanced my life, and the friendship that we’ve created,” Marseilles says.