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Robert MacDonald runs so that others will be able to walk

Robert MacDonald is running in the Toronto Marathon on Sunday to raise $150,000 for Toronto Rehab Foundation.

The donor: Robert MacDonald

The gift: Raising $222,000 and climbing

The cause Toronto Rehab Foundation

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Robert MacDonald was on vacation in Mexico four years ago when he fell three storeys from a balcony, breaking nine vertebrae and dislocating two others.

Mr. MacDonald spent months in a Toronto hospital and at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Doctors gave him a 5-per-cent chance of walking.

Today Mr. MacDonald is not only walking, he has entered the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday and hopes to raise $150,000 for the institute with his team called "I Will."

Mr. MacDonald, 29, ran half the marathon last year, raising $72,000, but going the full distance won't be easy. While his walking is almost normal, running remains a challenge. "I have to think about every step I take," he said from his home in Toronto, where he is a business broker. "I'm very nervous," he added. "But my will will get me across there."

More importantly, he wants others to benefit from Toronto Rehab's programs. "I'm able to live a great life because of that organization and it's not about me. I don't want the next person to have a 5-per-cent chance [of walking], I want them to have 10 per cent and then 15 per cent and then [a] 20-per-cent chance."

pwaldie@gloveandmail.com

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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