There will be one more extraordinary runner at the start of the Croatian Wings for Life World Run this year in Zadar. Maja Drobnjaković did not let losing one leg to cancer get in the way of her desire to live the life of an athlete. On May 6 she will show everyone how skilful and successful a runner she is now.
Immersed in the positive energy created by thousands of kind-hearted people, Maja Drobnjaković will make her Wings for Life World Run debut this year. This professional kinesiologist will cherish it as a special moment in her life.
So far, Maja has already overcome some major challenges in her life. Everything changed for her after her lower leg had to be amputated due to a cancerous disease in February 2017, but Maja did not let this stop her. Only a year later, she was running again and her regular, demanding training sessions started producing results soon. Now, it is time to show everyone how marvellous her recovery has been.
“For two years, I was unable to run and for six months I couldn’t even get out of bed. Then I decided not to lie desperate, but to recover and do everything I was doing before, maybe even more than that. After getting a new foot, I was able to run again, and the feeling was sensational. I ran 5 km the other day and that made me so happy,” says Maja Drobnjaković about getting her regular life back.
“I’ve lost one leg, but I can do everything. Prosthetics has advanced so much that there is absolutely nothing you cannot do: I can walk normally, run, cycle, drive a car, climb mountains, and train sitting volleyball. My whole life has been about sports and nothing has changed."
She had her family when things were the hardest and the little 4-year-old son was the best motive a mother can have to overcome any problem she faces. Although she prefers training alone for the Wings for Life World Run challenge, she has her husband – also a kinesiologist and a professional triathlon trainer – to rely on, if necessary. There will be a friend running next to her in Zadar on May 6, in the Bauerfeind team.
“It will be my great pleasure to participate in Wings for Life World Run, which is a great story in itself. I haven’t set any targets for myself, I just want to be part of it and enjoy. Now I can truly understand how the people in wheelchairs feel – wanting to run, but not being able to. Running is a challenge to me, a sport different from gymnastics that I did before. But, whenever I feel bad, I remember all the people who can’t run and find my motive there,” this Karlovac-born who lives in Zagreb said. And this is her advice to everyone who ever faces similar circumstances:
“The most important thing is to keep your focus on the positive, find some guiding light. There is nothing easier than getting desperate, anyone can do that, but you should always look for something positive, every day, something to lift your spirits and jumpstart you. Also, many people who’ve been in similar circumstances are entirely unaware of their ability for sport. They need to be informed and included in the community. It’s not the end of the world. What makes me happiest is doing today more than I did yesterday, and I’ll always push myself forward. People have all kinds of abilities and I think we can all push ourselves forward.”
Matej Markovič Slovenia
Melina Magulas, Norway
Natalie Hilton, participant 2015