Watertown teacher running Boston Marathon for same cause that helped her to walk

A Watertown teacher is running the Boston Marathon to help give back to the very cause that allows her to trot across that starting line.

Stephanie Barker was born and raised in Watertown and now works at the middle school, helping kids with Autism. Though she believes she learns just as much from them.

“I love working in the schools that I went to as a kid,” says Stephanie. “It is so rewarding. They teach me new things each and every day.”

Even before an unprecedented manhunt in 2013 forever linked Watertown with the Boston Marathon, Stephanie had a personal connection to race day.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to go to the marathon for years and years and say ‘this is something I want to do,’” Stephanie says.

This Monday, Stephanie will run the Marathon, an unthinkable proposition when she was born with hip dysplasia.

“By the time I was two and my parents were like ‘she’s still not walking’ it became a bigger issue,” revealed Stephanie.

Stephanie spent the early years of her life living in body casts, in and out of Children’s Hospital in Boston. She quickly learned why the renowned medical center holds a special place in the hearts of many. At two years old, Stephanie underwent surgery at Children’s that gave her the chance to walk and exercise.

“It gave me the ability to be the person I am today,” says Stephanie.

Still, Stephanie couldn’t run without pain. But the future Marathon runner learned how to manage the aches and twinges, learning a lot about herself in the process.

“Our bodies are meant to do hard things,” “And even when you feel like it’s not possible, or when you want to give up, it’s okay to have those feelings but you will finish and you will succeed. If I can go out and do this, anyone can do what anything they put their mind to.”

On Marathon Monday, Stephanie will battle that pain for 26.2 miles in honor of Children’s Hospital’s Miles for Miracles team.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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