Stroke survivor from Mundelein plans to run marathon
Kirk and Beth Disrude of Mundelein do a training run with their 4-month-old son, Logan Disrude, at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. Kirk had a stroke in September of 2011 and is now training to run two marathons. | Ruthie Hauge ~ Sun-
What is your favorite type of exercise?
NAME: Kirk Disrude
OCCUPATION: Physical education teacher at Maine East and Maine South high schools in Park Ridge; wrestling coach at Maine South.
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Pain is temporary; pride is forever.”
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:10AM
Kirk Disrude was getting dressed for work early the morning of Sept. 6 last year when he felt the worst pain in his head he can remember.
“It totally felt like a rubber band snapped in my head,” said Disrude of Mundelein. “Then I lost balance and fell to the ground. I laid there for a minute or two hoping it would go away and then I realized it wasn’t and I called for (my wife) Beth.”
Beth Disrude, who was 20 weeks pregnant with their first child at the time, rushed her husband to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with the help of her brother. After conducting tests, the doctors said her husband had suffered a stroke.
“I noticed the sides of my eyes began welling up with tears,” she recalled.
“He’s not a normal stroke patient,” said Beth Disrude. “He’s not overweight. He doesn’t smoke. He’s very fit and active. The doctors were kind of amazed that this picture of health was having a stroke.”
They learned the stroke was caused by an undetected heart condition that needed surgery to correct. After undergoing surgery at Condell, Kirk Disrude spent the next several days in the hospital before beginning nearly three months of rehab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in Wheeling to regain his motor and speech skills and learn how to walk again.
It was during his recovery that Kirk decided he wanted to run in a marathon.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” said Kirk Disrude, who began training with his wife about four weeks ago to run in the Chicago Marathon in October after getting clearance from his doctors.
‘Nothing to lose’
“I know some people will say ‘you’re crazy’ but I think I have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he said. “I coach wrestling and I teach my kids that pain is temporary but pride is forever. I hope I can use that same mental attitude for myself in training for this.”
Kirk and Beth Disrude started jogging short distances around their neighborhood, at Independence Grove Forest Preserve and along the Des Plaines River Trail. Beth Disrude often pushes a walker with their four-month-old son, Logan, during their runs.
They plan to do a 3-mile run in Joliet over Father’s Day weekend, the Rock ‘n Roll Chicago Half Marathon in late July and another event in September, before participating in the Chicago Marathon in October.
Beth Disrude, who has done a marathon before and will run with her husband in the Chicago Marathon, is amazed by the progress her husband has made and believes his story is an inspiration for other stroke survivors.
“It’s hard enough to do a marathon, but for someone that has had physical and mental challenges and to push through them and live life to the fullest shows he wants to be the best man he can be,” she said.
Josh McColough, manager of public affairs for Advocate Condell Medical Center, said the hospital will sponsor the Disrudes on their run in the Chicago Marathon this year.
“He’s really proud to be able to do it on behalf of all stroke survivors because a lot of people that have strokes don’t have the same level of motion or coordination that he does,” he said. “It’s a great feat for him to even run it.”