A Man With a Disability Affecting 76% of His Body Becomes the First in History to Finish a Marathon

year ago

For most of us, completing a marathon would be a major accomplishment. But for Alex Roca, it was much more than that — it was a chance to prove to himself and the world that anything is possible. His journey is one of resilience, perseverance, and the unbreakable human spirit. Despite facing numerous obstacles, he never lost sight of his goals and never gave up on his dreams.

He was diagnosed at the age of 6 months.

At the tender age of 6 months, Alex Roca Campillo of Barcelona, Spain, was diagnosed with herpetic viral encephalitis, a devastating condition that led to cerebral palsy and a physical disability that affects 76% of his left side. Despite the grim prognosis from medical professionals, Alex defied the odds and surpassed expectations through his tenacity and determination.

He has reduced mobility and communicates through sign language.

Despite facing significant challenges due to his condition, Alex Roca Campillo has refused to let anything hold him back. With reduced mobility on his left side and the need to communicate through sign language, Alex has become a beacon of personal drive and inspiration. A passionate sports fan, he has not only learned to drive and work, but has also completed marathons, given conferences, and taken on every challenge that has come his way.

His wife is his interpreter.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of Alex Roca’s story is the support he receives from his wife, Mari Carme Maza. Not only does she accompany him to events, but she also acts as his interpreter. As someone who communicates primarily through sign language, Alex often faces obstacles when it comes to interacting with people who don’t speak his language. But with Mari Carme by his side, he can fully participate in events and conferences and share his story with the world.

It’s a testament to the strength of their relationship and the power of love to overcome even the most strenuous challenges. Together, they are proving that anything is possible when we have the support of those we love.

He never ceases to challenge himself.

Alex Roca Campillo’s life has been defined by overcoming barriers with unwavering effort and determination. To him, sports are not just a hobby, but a means of self-improvement and personal growth.

“I am passionate about challenges and love trying new sports: running, cycling, and now, padel. With my example, I want to show that limits are set by each one,” he shared. Through his example, Alex hopes to inspire others to push beyond their limits.

On March 19, he completed an impressive 42.195 km run in 5 hours, 50 minutes, and 51 seconds — a remarkable feat for anyone, let alone someone with reduced mobility on one side of their body.

Sports is a lifestyle, and he doesn’t like the term “disability.”

Alex Roca Campillo has articulated his views on sports and disability on his website, stating: “For me, sport is very important in my day-to-day, because I see it as a lifestyle to improve myself.”

In addition to sports, Alex is passionate about giving talks and raising awareness about disability. “I don’t like that word at all,” he explains, “I like to see that we are people with different abilities, and we like to be treated like others.”

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What an incredibly tenacious and courageous man. He's a tremendous inspiration to so many people. Him and his wife make a beautiful couple and I love how she supports him with her voice, to bridge the gap between him and the people who can't understand sign language that like to come to his events. I wish them continued success and happiness in all they partake of along their journey together.


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