TikTok amputee attempts hilly San Francisco Marathon on crutches

TikTok amputee attempts hilly San Francisco Marathon on crutches

Alex Parra, a 22-year-old TikToker from Roseville, Calif., undertook a challenging mission at the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday. Parra attempted the hilly course with two crutches to raise awareness about the exorbitant cost of athletic prosthetics. At 15, Parra had his right leg amputated due to stage 2 osteosarcoma, and with his run of it, he aimed to shed light on the financial struggles faced by amputees.

When he entered the race, Parra knew he would need the entire eight-hour time limit to finish the marathon. With nearly 500 meters of elevation gain and two major climbs in the final 21 km, the San Francisco Marathon is notoriously difficult. However, the challenge proved even more demanding than Parra anticipated, and by the 20-km mark, he was already 40 minutes behind schedule. With severe blisters on his hands (from the crutches) and extreme fatigue, he made the tough decision to withdraw from the race at the 27-km mark.

“While I didn’t complete the full 26 miles, I still accomplished something I never thought possible,” Parra shared with his followers.

In California, insurance does not cover prosthetics, and an athletic leg (designed for running) can cost close to $50,000. Parra said, “If you want to go on a run, you spend $100 on running shoes. But if I want to go on a run, I have to spend over $35,000,” highlighting the financial burden faced by those in need of prosthetics.

Known as @Alex1Leg on TikTok, Parra has been sharing his inspiring journey since 2021, aiming to connect with others experiencing similar challenges. With over 800,000 followers and more than 50 million likes across his videos of him showcasing his athletic lifestyle with a prosthetic, Parra has successfully reached and inspired many.

@alex1leg

having two legs sounds nice ngl

♬ original sound – Alex1Leg

Throughout his journey, Parra has raised $3,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the same foundation that allowed him to pursue his athletic dreams and made it possible for him to purchase a prosthetic. “It’s just a surreal experience, because I never thought I’d be able to afford it,” he said.

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