Danielle McLaughlin, who calls Ramona home and has parents and family who live in Ramona, is an amputee and cancer survivor at age 24.
She earned first place in her division in the Accenture USA Paratriathlon National Championships in New York City on Sunday, Aug. 9. This race serves as the USA National Championship and qualifier for the World Championships.
As first-place winner in the T5 division for below knee amputee females, McLaughlin was invited to compete as a part of Team USA in Beijing, China, in September.
McLaughlin only began racing in April and this race was her first Olympic distance triathlon. She began training under Coach Bernard Baski at TriFit Club and Studios in Santa Monica, Calif., in June of this year. With hard work and determination and a new running prosthetic from the Challenged Athletes Foundation based in San Diego, she progressed quickly in the sport.
When McLaughlin had her foot amputated due to cancer nearly seven years ago, she never thought she would be able to run, let alone race in triathlons. To generate interest about the young adult cancer survivor community and, most especially, Challenged Athletes, McLaughlin is blogging and fundraising to be able to attend the World Championships in Beijing on Sept. 9.
Her blog is called Cancer Ate My Foot and can be found at canceratemyfoot.wordpress.com.
Her fundraising page is at raceforareason2011.kintera.org/DaniellegoestoWorlds.