A marathon ‘miracle’

Molly Shore

The past year has been life-altering for resident Donna German. In

that time, German, who once topped the scales at nearly 300 pounds,

lost more than 100 pounds through Weight Watchers and is preparing to


walk in Sunday’s City of Rome Marathon in Italy, as a member of Team


“Between [the marathon] and Weight Watchers, my whole life has

changed,” said German, 61. “I consider doing a marathon a miracle.”


German, a systems analyst at the Nestle headquarters in Glendale,

said she waited until she lost 50 pounds before she started daily

lunchtime walks in July.

When German entered a 10K event in Pasadena in October, she

learned about Team Diabetes, a group that trains and participates in

marathons to raise money for diabetes research. Because her father

and grandmother had the disease, German has a personal interest in

raising money for the cause.


Diabetes affects children and adults, said Minh Mach, an

endocrinologist and geriatrician at Providence St. Joseph Medical


“Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of blindness in this country ... and

it’s also the No. 1 cause of lower extremity amputations not related

to trauma,” Mach said.

Although clinical trials and research to combat diabetes are

ongoing, they are labor intensive and expensive, Mach said.


German collected $5,290 in donations and said all of that money

will benefit diabetes research.

“She’s pretty much done an incredible thing for herself and the

marathon,” said Michelle Verdugo, the Los Angeles area Team Diabetes


German chose to walk in the Rome marathon because she has never

been to Italy. She said she and her mother, who is traveling with

her, will visit the city’s antiquities for several days before

returning home.

German isn’t worried that she might be stranded in the Eternal

City due to the war in Iraq.

“I figure if I get stranded in Rome, I couldn’t be in a better

place,” she said.