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Paralyzed Former NWHL Player Completes Boston Marathon

Denna Laing teamed up with NHL great Bobby Carpenter to cross the finish line.


Denna Laing, a former National Women's Hockey League player who was paralyzed as a result of an on-ice spinal cord injury, crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday with some help from a racing wheelchair and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Carpenter.

Laing was paralyzed while playing for the Boston Pride during the 2016 Outdoor Women's Classic, which was the first outdoor women's game in professional hockey. Carpenter approached her family last June about teaming up for the marathon in support of Journey Forward, according to Boston.com. The nonprofit aims to better the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries through exercise programs. Their goal was to raise $53,000, but they've far surpassed it—raising over $80,000 for their cause. 

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“It’s really nice to see someone being so unselfish and just really reaching out to help me and to support an organization that is so important to my life and to the people who go there as well,” Laing told Boston.com.

After running his first Boston Marathon last year, Carpenter hadn't planned on running another, according to the team's Journey Forward fundraising page. However, he decided that doing it for a good cause would be worth it. He and Laing completed the race in 4 hours, 32 minutes, and 30 seconds, and received an overwhelming amount of support from the crowd from start to finish.

“My voice is gone because I said hello to everybody in the crowd. I felt like everybody was screaming my name. It was so awesome,” Laing told WBZ-TV.

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