Denna Laing to compete in Boston Marathon with help from ex-NHL player

BOSTON (WHDH) - Denna Laing may be down but she is certainly not out. In fact, next month, she’s planning to complete the Boston Marathon.

“I think the Boston Marathon has such a special energy. If you lived here for a minute or lived here your whole life, the Boston Marathon has a way of reaching you,” Laing said.

The 25-year old Marblehead woman was playing hockey for the Boston Pride during the 2015 Women’s Winter Classic when she crashed headfirst into the boards.

Laing suffered a spinal cord injury and has since spent five days a week in rehab at Journey Forward, a paralysis recovery center based out of Canton.

“I’m able to sit up and balance myself. I really believe a lot of the difference is because of Journey Forward,” Laing said.

When former NHL player Bobby Carpenter proposed he would push Laing all 26.2 miles to raise money for Journey Forward, she got on board.

Carpenter had run the marathon before. He was so inspired by people with disabilities who were running alongside him, that he vowed to never go at it alone again.

“There’s so many people saying I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it the marathon. I don’t think you can say you can’t do it,” Carpenter said.

They’ll be using a custom-made running chair, inspired by the ones Dick Hoyt used to push his son Rick through 32 marathons.

“I feel so awesome about it because we had to use grocery carts and had to invent them ourselves,” Hoyt said. “I guess we paved the way for other duos in the marathon.”

In many ways, this next step is Laing’s own journey forward.

“It’s like when you’re listening to a favorite song, getting ready for a date. It’s that energy that excites me,” Laing said.

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