If you’re ever in need of a lesson on endurance, just talk to Janet Oberholtzer. That’s who we caught up with on the Lancast scene this episode. The survivor of a six-vehicle accident involving five large trucks and a motorhome, Janet has had her work cut out for her over the last eight years. After waking from a 12-day medically induced coma, she learned that the majority of her lower body had been shattered. Later, she would also find out that 70% of the soft tissue on her left calf was now gone, and it was a miracle that it hadn’t been amputated. Though her injuries were extensive, Janet has never been one to give up easily. She tells us how in the beginning, she really just focused on what she had to do to get better.
Gradually though, the recovery became difficult, and depression set in. Janet credits her family with much of the support she needed to pull through such a low point in her life. Little by little, the recovery continued. But to be able to walk again, well, that wasn’t enough. She longed to be able to run as she had before the accident. She decided to give running a try, at first, without telling anyone. The pain was intense, but she was determined…
Yesterday, May 20, 2012, marked the 8 year anniversary of the accident. It also marked a new victory for Janet: running her very first full length marathon. Why, you ask? Well, for Janet, it’s just, “Because I Can”.
Support for this episode provided by WindingWay Books and Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.