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. Despite the violence and chaos in her home life at the hands of an alcoholic father, a drug addicted mother and a psychotic grandmother, 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, endurance runner, 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 writing, running, public speaking, swimming and did we mention running and sharing her inspirational story as a survivor of paralytic polio and childhood domestic violence.
You can follow all of her adventures, including her latest goal of running the 2016 Newport Marathon, 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