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Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery

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Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery
Kim Schaefer (right), 67, shows off her medal after finishing the Disney Princess 10K presented by CORKCICLE with her daughter and granddaughter. The runDisney event was the first race for Schaefer who underwent double lung transplant surgery in 2020 after she was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease. The family from Colorado completed the race at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Saturday, Feb. 24. (Omark Reyes, photographer)

Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery. We are not big runDisney fans, we do not run. But, how do you pass up an amazing story of a woman who just 3 years ago was laying in bed, hooked up to oxygen, on a long lung transplant list. Hoping and waiting for the life-saving news? Only for the transplant to be a success so much so that she can now do a runDisney Marathon!

Four years after a double lung transplant, Kim Schaefer, 67, from Windsor, Colorado conquered the Disney Princess 10K presented by CORKCICLE with her family, Disney cast members and even Minnie Mouse cheering for her at the finish line at Walt Disney World Resort. Before her life was saved by doctors and an organ donor, Schaefer was battling interstitial lung disease and needed two oxygen machines just to move around her home. Her 2020 transplant enabled her to join the running event for the first time, scripting her Disney fairy tale of perseverance. 

Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery
Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery

Related: runDisney Heroic Merch for Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2024

Schaefer first noticed symptoms during a family vacation in 2010, experiencing difficulties breathing. After years of medical tests and different treatments, Schaefer was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease which causes progressive scarring of lung tissue and limits the amount of oxygen flowing into a person’s bloodstream.  Schaefer’s health continued to decline with the additional diagnoses of sarcoidosis and pulmonary hypertension in 2019.  

In 2020, Schaefer became a double lung transplant candidate and was told by doctors she faced 50 percent survival odds due to age and other factors. 

Schaeffer overcame those challenges in part by focusing on running. She said envisioning the runDisney race kept her motivated throughout her training. Today she turned that vision into a reality by completing the 10K during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. She celebrated the emotional moment with her daughter and granddaughter, who ran the 6.2-mile race with her and said they will continue the celebration by spending the rest of the weekend visiting the theme parks at Walt Disney World. 

Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend continues with the half marathon on Sunday and yoga on Monday.  

The race weekend is the third of four on-site race weekends at Walt Disney World during the 2023-24 runDisney season. Next is the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend (April 18-21). These races, which include runners of all fitness levels, provide the opportunity to run through Disney theme parks, experience world-class entertainment and earn unique Disney medals. 

Disney Movie in Real Life: Colorado Woman Runs Disney Princess 10K After Lung Transplant Surgery

Greg Gatelyhttp://TheFUNaticsBlog.com
Greg "The Blue Hair" Blogger. If you are traveling around the Central Florida area you wont miss his Blue Head walking around, probably taking images. Co-Owner, Photographer, Podcaster, All Around Nice Guy, and curator of the most fantastical Disney Blog. You can listen to Greg on The Live Podcast show every week, along with seeing him live on Funatics Diary with Sam's Disney Diary. Once an Audio Engineer and Tour Manager with bands like Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, Collin Raye, Dispatch, just to name a few. Having retired from touring Greg spends all his time bringing the World of Disney to you. With over 3000 Articles written, and countless Images taken, Greg still enjoys living this amazing lifestyle. Thank You for reading!

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