MIAMI – More than 18,000 people took part in yesterday’s Miami Marathon, but crossing the finish line was particularly sweet for one participant – a 16 year old Passaic girl who is paralyzed from the chest down.
Rivka Shotkin was one of 430 members of Chai Lifeline’s Team Lifeline, which has participated in the Miami Marathon for more than 10 years. She blew past her original fundraising goal of $5,000, ultimately bringing in $15,380 for Chai Lifeline, her way of thanking the organization for its help when she was injured in a devastating 2021 skiing accident that left her with broken bones, a punctured lung and spinal injuries.
Shotkin told Miami’s NBC 6 (bit.ly/3Jo7VEI) that Chai Lifeline was there for her and her family in the difficult months after her accident, noting that the organization sent her dinner every night of her three month stay in rehab. After spending two weeks this past summer in Chai Lifeline’s Camp Simcha, she decided to take on the challenge of doing the Miami Marathon in her wheelchair.
It took Shotkin four hours and two minutes to cross the finish line and she was surrounded by cheering teammates as she rolled her way to victory.
“When you’re doing the marathon it feels like its never going to end and then by crossing it’s like, oh my G-d, I did it,” said Shotkin.
Shotkin, the daughter of Passaic eruv expert Rabbi Micah Shotkin, hopes that her performance at the marathon will inspire others to realize that life is a gift and to dream big.
“There’s no limits to what you’re capable of,” said Shotkin. “Don’t limit yourself. Don’t decide you can’t do something before you actually do it.”