Mary McManus grew up in Westchester, NY and contracted paralytic polio in 1959 at the age of 5, during one of the last polio epidemics in the United States. Three years later and until the age of 17, she experienced child abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father and mentally ill grandmother. Despite the chaos in her home life, Mary was valedictorian of her high school class and went on to have an award winning career as a social worker at the VA.  She was at the height of her career when she was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

Mary did not take the diagnosis of post polio syndrome sitting down. She embarked on a healing odyssey that began with a leap of faith as she left her 25 year social work career to heal her life and to follow her new found passion as a poet and writer. The first poem she penned in February of 2007 was "Running the Race," a foreshadowing of her 2009 Boston Marathon run as a mobility impaired runner. Her pen became her divining rod for healing.

Mary is a 2009 Boston Marathon finisher, blogger, the author of 5 books of inspirational poetry, her memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" and "Journey Well." Mary holds a BS in Public Relations from Boston University, an MSW from Boston College and many fond memories of her social work career at the VA in her heart. She delights in running, swimming, fundraising, writing and sharing her inspirational story as a survivor of paralytic polio and childhood domestic violence.

You can follow all of her adventures, inspiration and wisdom by subscribing to her blog Life is a Marathon - Journey Well

Visit her author page on Amazon

Subscribe to her YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/marysunshine100