Local News

Surgeon Survives Brain Surgery To Run In Marathon

Posted May 1, 2001 8:00 a.m. EDT

— A lot of hard work goes into training for a marathon. Athletes have to be in tip-top shape to complete the 26.2 mile course. One local runner found himself facing an even tougher challenge off the track.

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little, an orthopedic surgeon at N.C. State's veterinary school, helps to get animals back on their feet. Speaking of feet, he has got some of the fastest around.

He recently ran in the Boston Marathon, wherein he finished second among North Carolinians with a time of 2 hours 39 minutes. He blew away his old record by three minutes.

"I had an overwhelmingly wild happiness when I finished," he says.

Marcellin-Little was a little more focused this year because he had more to overcome. Nine months ago, he had brain surgery to remove a tumor from the base of his skull.

"I started jogging after about three weeks, a little bit at a time," he says. "The first day was a little bit strange. I ran for about eight minutes the first day, and then I built [it] up."

Just two months later, he finished in the top 10 in a half-marathon.

Marcellin-Little says after his wake-up call, he will never again take his health for granted.