The CIGNA Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has announced the winners of its national essay contest, the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race Challenge. The contest honors individuals who have overcome life-altering disabilities or illnesses and set an example for others to follow. The winner of the contest was Nicholas LaRaia of Oxford, North Carolina, who lost his leg below the knee in a bicycle accident and has become a mentor and example to people who use prostheses.
An honorable mention went to Tammy Delano, of Rome, New York. Delano was born with spina bifida and has overcome major medical challenges to become a competitive athlete. She was recently selected to the Paralympic women’s wheelchair curling team.
LaRaia’s and Delano’s prize is entry into the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race, one of the top-rated footraces in the country. They will run as members of the CIGNA Running Team on August 9.
“All of the people who submitted essays are an inspiration to everyone-they have overcome what most would consider insurmountable obstacles to live life to the fullest and to contribute to their communities,” said Dick Salmon, MD, PhD, senior national medical director for CIGNA, and a participant in the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race for most of the past 15 years. “We are very pleased to welcome the top entries to participate with the CIGNA Running Team this year.”