“Share Your Strength” 5K will support local woman’s recovery

Published 5:15 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024


On May 11, a 5K race will be held at Millennium Park in Danville to help support community member Jan Sheffield on her path to recovery from a spinal abscess in 2022.

Sheffield is a former teacher at Kentucky School for the Deaf, an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church, has acted in plays at West T. Hill and Pioneer Playhouse, and loves running.

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A spinal abscess compressed her spinal cord causing her to become paralyzed below her shoulders. Her long-time friend, Sarah Hempel, explained that doctors didn’t know what caused the abscess and didn’t know if she would ever be able to walk again.

“She was a long-time runner, she ran marathons and all the local races,” Hempel said. “She was in the ICU, she had to have emergency surgery. She has made minute progress over the last couple of years to where she can move her arm. She can even stand now. Her attitude has been amazing.”

Hempel explained that Sheffield’s funding for physical therapy is running out. The 5K will raise funds so she can continue her journey of recovery.

“Her goal is to walk again,” Hempel said. “The doctors don’t know. They don’t know if her spinal cord is regenerating or sending signals on different pathways. She couldn’t do anything at first, seeing her recovery has been amazing.”

For race registration and to learn more about Sheffield’s story, go to shareyourstrength.org.