Inspiring others one step at a time

Posted at 12:02 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 12:28:30-04

Todd Sandberg and Marty Gregoire share a lifelong bond.

The pair met after having life-changing surgery in St. Louis treating their cerebral palsy. Since their surgeries, they've been a duo on a mission to raise money for others living with the condition.

Sandberg lives in Minnesota, but made his first trip to Western New York this weekend to join forces with Gregoire's charity, Footsteps of WNY, to run in the Buffalo Marathon and raise awareness.

"I think just doing it with my friend Marty and just being able to do this 5K with him, it's really going to be an emotional event ...a really cool thing."

Gregoire says Footsteps of WNY has raised thousands of dollars for locals with cerebral palsy, a condition that touches so many people.

"It's a disability that impacts a lot of people. One in four babies born premature have a chance of having it."

The surgery changed both of their lives. Without it, running a race like this would've been quite the task. Now, it's almost routine.

"My body was degrading very rapidly," Sandberg said. "I was going to be in a wheelchair by the time I was about 50 and I was 38 at the time and I couldn't run anymore. Physically, I'd fall down after two steps and now I'm running 5Ks, mud runs, and doing it while I can."

During his trip, the Minnesota native hopes to see the sites and spend time with his pal Marty, but even when he heads home, the two will share a lifelong friendship.