Wounded Veteran Prevails Over Physical Disabilities to Compete in Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Michael Fradera, one of 55,000 competitors training for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in January 2012, was forever changed in August 2007 when his armored vehicle hit a roadside bomb during a routine patrol near Bagdad. The former Marine and Army veteran, who lost both of his legs in the attack, has competed in 18 marathons since the horrific incident.

Fradera competes in a hand-crank wheelchair in the Achilles International Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans program, which brings running programs and marathon opportunities to disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In both 2010 and 2011, Fradera was the first wheel chair participant to cross the finish line of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon (the hand-crank chair is not yet officially recognized for the wheelchair division).

Fradera, of Lakeland, Fla., is one of four wounded veterans who will participate in the half marathon through the Cigna Foundation’s grant to Achilles International. Members of the Cigna team, including Chief Executive Officer David M. Cordani, will run side-by-side with the wounded veterans to guide them through the Disney 13.1 mile half-marathon near Orlando on Jan. 7, 2012.

For more information or registration for runDisney events, please visit www.runDisney.com.

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