Crossfitters Help Woman With Rare Disease Complete Spartan Race

By Juli McDonald, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – A young Bridgewater woman battling a rare disease crossed a major accomplishment off her bucket list – all thanks to some physically and mentally tough Crossfitters.

Tiffany Gambill lives with Friedreich’s Ataxia – a neuromuscular condition that shuts down all the muscles in her body, including her heart and speech.

“Life is not how I planned. It’s challenging at times,” she says.

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Crossfitters carry Tiffany Gambill on Spartan Race course (WBZ-TV)

For five years now, she’s been working out at CrossFit Bridgewater to maintain strength.

“She’s always looking for a challenge. She looked at me and said, ‘I want to do something totally amazing.’ We decided to take on the Spartan Race,” said her coach Sonia Caldas.

Some fellow members of CrossFit Bridgewater volunteered their time – wanting to be a part of making Tiffany’s dream come true. But as soon as they arrived at the first obstacle, some were wondering whether this dream… was maybe a little out of reach.

“The terrain was awful. Rocks, ankle deep mud. Stumps. It just didn’t seem possible,” said Tiffany’s mom, Joan.

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Tiffany Gambill (WBZ-TV)

“I didn’t think we could do it. We’re going down the first hill with a wheelchair and I’m already like how are we going to do this?” said Jay Caldas of CrossFit Bridgewater.

Slowly but surely, and hour by hour, the small but mighty team trudged on. Five hours later, they crossed the finish line together.

“It was just unbelievable. My heart swelled to see all these people who wanted to do this for her,” Joan Gambill said.

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Crossfitters carry Tiffany Gambill on Spartan Race course (WBZ-TV)

And Tiffany’s determination never wavered. She knew they’d finish. It’s a message she wants to pass on to others dealing with their own struggles:

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it. It might not be the same way. You can still do it. You only have one life. Go big or go home!”

Up next is RideAtaxia this fall in Philadelphia. Tiffany attaches a bike to her wheelchair and uses her hands to pedal toward the finish line. The goal is to fund research to find a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia. To donate to Tiffany’s team CLICK HERE.

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