El Paso, Texas-- David Claudio and his fiancé Mariana Cardenas have been together for three years.
It was back in June of 2021 when their love would be put to the test after David faced an accident that would change his everyday life.
“I was at work and I was warming up for my usual training routine and I felt a pop in my abdomen,” said Claudio. "I grabbed my phone because I knew something was wrong and I dialed 911 myself.”
Claudio had suffered an aortic rupture and he was rushed to the hospital and would have to undergo an open heart surgery. He would wake up the next day, paralyzed from the waist down.
“If I wasn't as healthy as I was when the accident did happen, I would have passed away,” said Claudio.
David owes his passion for fitness for saving his life, and this accident changed his perspective when it comes to helping others with their fitness journey.
“Before my accident my perspective on people was to supplement their ego, now it’s about helping people,” said Claudio
Despite the accident, he continues to wake up every morning to empower others.
“It’s important for me to help as many people as possible and to make an impact in my community,” said Claudio.
In an effort to raise funds for a life changing surgery that could help him walk again, Claudio created the 5k be a Hero Walk & Run that is set to happen Sunday, August 28th at Cimarron park in west El Paso.
This run is a way for Claudio to bring the community together for a good cause and seeing the amount of support he has received from the community is something that he is thankful for.
“It makes me feel special, it makes me feel like people actually care,” said Claudio.
The 5K walk is open to the public and funds from registration fees will go towards Claudio's stem cell transplant.
“Not only would this help him to walk again but it would prevent this from happening again in the future,” said Mariana, Claudio’s fiancé.
The couple is hopeful that they can raise funds to get this surgery sooner than later so he can step foot on the dance floor again to dance side by side with his little princess, his daughter.
“God kept me here for my babies. Plain and simple,” said Claudio.
If you would like to make a donation towards David’s medical costs for the stem cell transplant, Click here.
There is still time to register for the run and you can do so by clicking here. Participants are also able to register the day of the event.
Race Date: August 28, 2022
Location: 7401 Cimarron Park Dr 79911
Meet: 7:00 AM Start Time: 8:00 AM
Package Pick up: August 27, 2022
Location: 3945 Doniphan Park Circle 79922
Time: 10 AM- 2 PM