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From Wheelchair to Running on Air at Walt Disney World Resort

Darrell Fry

by , Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort

If you happened to see Kimberly Sheerin running the Disney Tangled Royal Family 5K this past weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, she probably looked just like any other runner in the field. But the truth is she is far from ordinary.

The fact that she was able to run three yards, let alone 3.1 miles, made her unique when you consider that it was about this time last year when she was in a car accident near her hometown of Winter Haven, Fla., that left her as a virtual quadriplegic. A C-3 incomplete spinal cord injury is what doctors called it that day in April when she was rushed to Lakeland Regional Hospital. She couldn’t move her arms and could barely move her legs.

Yet, after several months of exhaustive and painful rehabilitation at Shepherd Center, she regained the use of arms and legs and set a goal of running in the 5K during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Her doctors called it “remarkable.’’ I would argue it was a little magical too. I mean, this is the place where dreams come true, right?

In typical Disney fashion, her entire rehab team decided to run with her. And yes, they all finished the race. Together.

Here’s a video clip of her story.


  • Kimberly (Dolly), just heard about your story. I am so proud of you!!! I remember your energy and you always being positive when we were roommates…. You are an inspiration girl!!! By the way, you have a lovely family as well. Love Michele (Flora)

  • Wow it is amazing.

  • Kimberly, what an amazing story of courage and strength and conviction. Way to go girl! I am so happy for you! You are an inspiration to all of us!

  • Amazing. Simply amazing! What a true testament to never giving up!! So wonderful to see those running with her. I can’t imagine how she felt. Definitely brought me to tears. Thanks for sharing!

  • That brought tears to my eyes. That’s such an awesome accomplishment. Congrats!

  • Absolutely amazing and inspirational. Way to go Kimberly!

  • Way to go Kimberly!! I know your story gives hope to others who are injured like you were. What an amazing accomplishment!!

  • I am so happy for you for being so strong and finishing the race. It is great to have all of the people that helped you get to were you are today with you too. Congrads.

  • Congratulations! I know the feeling. October I was struck down with an illness that put me in the hospital for a week, a fever over 103 degrees for more than 12 days, and out of work during recovery for over 2 months. I couldn’t walk a half a mile without being totally wiped out, more so I couldn’t even walk a 100 yards. I went back to work on December 5th. On January 7th, after one day of training on January 6th, I started the WDW Half Marathon. Three hours later, I finished.

    We did it – we did it with the support of others. We did it with determination. And we’ll do it again.

    I’m very proud of you and I’ll walk with you when I do it again, next year!

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