Jacky Hunt-Broersma's life changed in 2002 when she was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer. But she never gave up and kept pushing her boundaries.
Jacky Hunt-Broersma was just 26 when she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer in 2002. A decision was made quickly which would forever alter the course of her life. Within just two weeks of her diagnosis, her left leg was amputated to save her.
"It was a rollercoaster. Everything happened so fast," recalled Jacky, who understandably struggled for the first couple of years with the sudden shift. She would hide her leg in public so no one would see her prosthetic. She was embarrassed to be different.
But one day in 2016 she decided to take up running on a whim. Having cheered her husband from the sidelines during long-distance running events, Jacky never imagined herself participating in the sport which she considered was only "for crazy people."
Starting Monday I will be running a Marathon a day for 100 days, total of 2620 miles. Current record is 95 days. Yes totally crazy but I don't do small goals😜. We are always capable of more. More details on my IG pagehttps://t.co/upBJQumppN— Jacky Hunt-Broersma (@NCrunnerjacky) January 15, 2022
However, she found herself purchasing special prosthetics for long-distance runners and part took in her first 10k (6.2 mile) run and hasn't looked back ever since. "I'm an all-or-nothing person, so I just threw myself in. I love pushing boundaries and seeing how far I can push," she explained according to BBC.
At the beginning of this year, she challenged herself to set a record for most consecutive marathons. On Saturday, April 30, the 46-year-old completed her 104th consecutive marathon after running 26.2-miles every day since mid-January. She is now expected to be certified by Guinness World Records for her achievement.
The female record was previously held by Alyssa Amos Clark, a non-amputee runner from Vermont, who completed 95 consecutive marathons 2 years ago. And the male Guinness record is currently held by Enzo Caporaso of Italy with 59. Aware of it all, the mother of two began running every day and made sure she at least completed the length of a marathon.
Jacky, who was born and raised in South Africa, participated in the world-famous Lost Dutchman in Arizona and the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts. But marathons could not be scheduled every day so the endurance coach ran on neighborhood trails, local dirt paths, and sometimes on her own treadmill at home. Then British runner Kate Jayden broke Alyssa's record by completing 101 runs and Jacky knew she had to keep going to beat her.
To set the new record she ran 2,734 miles and even raised over $88,000 for Amputee Blade Runners - a non-profit organization that provides amputees with running blades - by documenting her runs on social media.
Running has helped rebuild her confidence, something she feared she would never regain. "Running has made such a difference on my mental state and it showed me how strong my body can be. It gave me a total new acceptance of who I am and that I can do hard things," said Jacky who has no intentions of stopping anytime soon.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | ABC News