SAN ANTONIO — Thousands of Americans suffer from paralysis in the foot and ankle called foot drop. Beth Deloria is one them. She's also a veteran marathon runner.
Deloria is in San Antonio this weekend to participate in the fifth annual Rock 'N' Roll Marathon, but she couldn't do it without the ToeOFF Brace developed by Allard USA. The brace is a carbon fiber orthotics device designed to mimic the movement of the muscles in the legs and feet.
Deloria had a spinal injury that caused her foot drop. Basically, the nerve in her ankle is paralyzed.
"My capability essentially declined from running more than 26 miles to having difficulty walking without tripping," she said. "That realization was as much a psychological injury as it was a physical issue. The prospect of losing an important part of my life because of foot drop was extremely depressing."
Deloria is inspiring other people who have foot drop. This year, she has participated in 20 marathons.
Marc Martinez read her story and now he wears ToeOFF braces on both legs. This Sunday, he'll run his fifth race.
"I was inspired by everyone running by and I decided to do some research and that's when I came across Beth's story," Martinez said.
Peter Allard owns Allard USA. He's also in San Antonio to run in the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon. He flew in from Sweden, where the company is headquartered.
"It is inspiring to see Beth's dedication to encouraging those affected by foot drop not to let it steal their quality of life," Allard said. "Helping people like her continue to do the things in life they are passionate about is what makes our business personally gratifying."