LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A photograph of a woman finishing a 10K race in Kentucky is going viral.
The photo shows a determined woman refusing to give up and crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with a police officer and her son.
“When you see the photo, just know that you’re worth it. And you can do anything that you put your mind to,” runner Asia Ford told CNN affiliate WAVE.
Two years ago, Ford made a commitment to be strong and healthy for her children. Since then, she has lost 217 pounds.
“I just knew that all of those times that we went to the doctor’s office and the doctor told us what could have happened, I wasn’t going to let that happen to me,” said Ford.
Quitting the race was not an option.
“My breath was kind of like, it felt like it was taken from me,” she said.
“The EMS guys got out and talked to her, went to check on her,” said Lt. Aubrey Gregory of Louisville Metro Police. “And she was like ‘I’m not stopping. I’m not stopping.’ So she kept going.”
According to Ford, the police officer asked her: “You’re going to finish the race, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“And I said I’m not going to let her stop. We’re going to do this together,” said Gregory, who then got out of his vehicle. “She grabbed my hand. I grabbed her hand.”
The officer walked with her step-by-step until Ford’s son joined them, and they crossed the finish line together.
“Watching her go across that line, raising her hands, I felt that all over. It was a great moment.” the officer said. “That is what being a police officer is about: service to others, helping.”
“For him, I knew that was my angel at the time, because at mile 5 was where I was going to give up,” said Ford.
Ford’s son Terrance Fugett says he has a new hero.
“Looking at her and how she used to be and how she is now is inspirational. It makes me want to push harder to do the things that I want to do in life,” he said.