Saturday, July 27, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway - I am a Runner: The Memoirs of a Sepsis Survivor by Maria Papalia-Meier with Pamela Ackerson

Title: I am a Runner: The Memoirs of a Sepsis Survivor
Author: Maria Papalia-Meier with Pamela Ackerson
Publication Date: June 25th 2019
Genre: Inspirational Memoir
You’ll never be able to run again.

From running half marathons to being the sickest person in the hospital, Maria Papalia-Meier fought the river of death, and won.

Life changing moments, amputations, and negative thoughts refused to keep her down. With her rock-hard stubbornness, positive self-empowerment and persistence, she grabbed hope and unflinching faith to face the life handed to her. Her story offers an honest, tough-love approach to defeating pre-determined opinions, and self-imposed limitations. She refused to give up or give in.

Maria Papalia-Meier is a runner. She has awoken stronger…better.

This is her story.

Maria Papalia-Meier is a fighter. She may have been KO'd, and down for the count, but she proved them wrong. I am a Runner is about surviving sepsis, a coma, and amputation. Maria has a BBA with an emphasis in Human Resources, and has worked for Fed-Ex for twenty years. As an athlete she has many accomplishments. Before her battle with the river of death she'd competed and ran in multiple 5K’s. She was told she'd never run again. She proved the naysayers wrong. Her athletic accomplishments include running in a 5K, and a 1/2 Marathon.

Wife, mother, author, and time traveling adventurer. Born and raised in Newport, RI where history is a way of life, Pamela Ackerson now lives on the Space Coast of Florida, a hop, skip, and jump from Orlando, where imagination and fantasy abounds. With the love of reading, she graduated to writing non-fiction, historical fiction, time travel, and children's preschool/first reader books.

Recovery: One of the Most Difficult Things…
by Maria Papalia-Meier

The recovery process takes time.

One of the first downs I had was when I got to practice running after several months of PT. I was happy when my stride hadn’t changed. I was told it would. When I tried little by little to do it on my own, my feet would hurt. The nerve pain was associated with the weather. When it was hot and humid, my feet swelled.

My left ankle would hurt and my foot even with the Orthotics would continue to roll. My 1/2 toe in the left foot would dig into the orthotic. I made multiple trips back to the doctor and PT. The gentleman at Rogerson Orthotics was able to look at my sneaker and my Orthotics and came up with a plan to help.

Even with all this, it wasn’t working. Surgery was on the table, but at the time, I didn’t or wasn’t ready. I was going to be laid up for six weeks. I signed up for the lottery to run the Peachtree in Atlanta. I decided to do it because I thought it’d help keep me motivated.

I think, at one point, I decided I wanted to pull out. But I didn’t. I took it slow. My friend who did it with me was amazing.

When I returned from Georgia, I had an appointment with my surgeon. I was supposed to run as much as I could and have my ankle hurt. That way when I had my cortisone shot we would know if it worked. The day before my appointment, I set out for a run.

Confident and excited, it ended with me falling and cutting my hand and my knees. I walked in the door and cried, “That is it. I am done. I can’t do this anymore.”

My husband Myatt let me cry and vent. Once he believed I’d cried it out, he brought me back to reality and focus.

He is good like that. When I can’t do it on my own, he has a way of helping me through it.

When I received my shot the next day, I left out the part that I fell. Some things are better kept a secret especially when your goal is running and saying you fell while doing it wouldn’t be good.

I had the shot and it helped the pain. It didn’t last long. Later in the day, I was in tears. We were at my son’s baseball game and the tears began to fall. Thank goodness for ice packs. I think I used them all. At dinner after the game, I kept ice on my ankle to keep it as numb as possible.

I remember telling Myatt if the shot is the only way I can run I was done! That kind of pain was too much.

There are other avenues I tried, and they ended up at dead ends. One was a prosthetic and another was a group that helped individuals like me get back to activity. This also failed. They didn’t have anyone close to my area.

Deciding to have the last surgery was hard. It meant being in active for six weeks. Even though the doctor felt it would work, there was no guarantee. I had the surgery. I had to stop my workouts until the pin was removed.

After healing my last opportunity was the running clinic at Spaulding Cambridge. It took months to get in for an appointment. I knew the evaluation wasn’t going to be easy. Since I’d had my surgery a few months prior, I needed to get my doctor’s approval. I managed to convince the doctor the nerve pain was okay.

If they didn’t let me in to do the evaluation, I didn’t know what I would do. I was nervous and anxious. I talked with my trainer about what I needed and he helped make sure I was prepared.

When the day finally came, I felt so much pressure. I was so stressed. Myatt took me. Driving to and in Boston scares me. I wasn’t sure how my feet would feel after the intense evaluation.

I was accepted! I was told there was no room on the schedule for a while which was kind of a bummer. I was anxious to start. Things ended up working for me and I started sooner than expected.

The next part was tough. I needed to be in Boston for PT 2-3 days a week. I knew Myatt wasn’t going to be able to drive me. It was time once again to do what I needed. I was scared. I’m not a native of Massachusetts, and their drivers are very aggressive.

No offense to anyone. But, if you don’t know where you’re going, the anxiety of having people speed up and cut you off is intimidating. I surprised even myself. I did it.

Little to my dismay, I didn’t start running day one. A few minutes on the treadmill didn’t count. I wasn’t allowed to run on my own until I was given the green light.

There were lots of exercises I had to do, mainly to help with balance and core. I made sure to let my trainer and PT know what exercises I was doing with each one. This helped to build my strength.

Some days I would go into PT and do great. There were days when I didn’t understand what she wanted. One day, she wanted me to grip the floor with my foot. I tried and repeatedly worked at it. It took months before I finally did it.

It clicked. This was very important. I needed to have my feet grip the floor to help me keep my ankle straight.

There are phases and there are experts. The Orthotics were necessary when I first lost my toes. I saw one of the top foot and ankle doctors. The doctor who oversees the running clinic had a different school of thought and did away with my Orthotics and I bought regular sneakers in my new size.

Part of my stubbornness to succeed was because I told myself what I went through sucked. It changed my life. I needed to complete one goal and see it through to the end; not just for me but for my cheerleaders. I wanted them to continue to believe in me and my ability to move forward… to come back from being dead to being me.
Win a $10 Amazon gift card! There will be three winners!
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. Love the cover and all the inspiring things she has gone thru in her life. I have had ups and downs in my life too, I was married to my first husband for 21 years and at the age of 46 I lost him to Type 1 Diabetes complications, a few years after that I met Terry and was married to him 20 years and I lost him to Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Thanks for this amazing chance.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  3. I love the covers, very pretty girl, sounds like a good read.

  4. Nice cover and looks like a really inspiring read!

  5. Book cover goes well with the title of book.

  6. This looks like an amazing story! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. The cover is awesome! Everyone has hard times in their life. It's how one handles them that matters.

  8. I like the covers-thanks

    tiramisu392 (at)

  9. I love all the characters in Harry Potter.

  10. I like the cover and I have runners in my family, so I think the read would be interesting.

  11. The covers def draw me in. Thank you

  12. I'm not sure I like the cover. It is very busy and hard to see what's going on. However, the book itself looks interesting and I'd like to read it.

  13. This sounds like an inspiring book, thanks for the chance!

  14. This sounds like a very inspirational story. What courage!

  15. Wow! What a story. I love reading books that are true srories. I can't wait to read this.

  16. I am inspired by this story The cover is beautiful and I'm anticipating reading the entire story.

  17. I love the cover and the story sound inspiring.