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Allison Toepperwein

Single Mom, Blogger, Motivational Speaker, 2X American Ninja Warrior, Non-Profit Founder and Parkinson's Fighter

August 1, 2014, I separated from my husband. We were divorced 2 1/2 months later and on New Year's Eve that same year, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at 37 years old. I was a newly single mom with a possible death sentence. I had a choice to make. December 31, 2014, I put my daughter, myself and the year 2014 to bed at 8pm. New Year's Day, 2015, I arose with the sun, a new year and a new beginning. I planted my feet firmly on the ground and said, "This is not how my story will end!" Four days later, I began my blogging. www.LitWithin.com Exercise is the only thing proven to slow the progression of Parkinson's Disease. As soon as I discovered that, I began exercising for my life. November 2015 I ran my first mud run. I ran 7 miles and completed more than 25 obstacles, despite having passed 5 kidney stones in the 2 weeks leading up to the race, tendinitis in both hips, cold and rainy weather, which exacerbates my Parkinson's. I finished 4th in my age division and in the top 13% overall against more than 1400 competitors. Because of this race, people told me I should try out for American Ninja Warrior. June 20, 2016, NBC aired my story and run on American Ninja Warrior. My story inspired people with and without PD to get in the gym the following day. I am currently gearing up to compete again this year. Lit Within, Inc. is now a tax deductible non-profit, aimed at helping women find their light within. I am known as the "Strong Mom Ninja", and I hope show countless others, just how strong their light is. I'm a fighter, a doer, and a life obstacle crusher. As with any challenge, dig deep within and find that light, and shine so bright you overcome what ever stands in your way.

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