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Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

A True Honor


A True Honor

A True Honor

Medtronic Global Heroes 2012


A hero is a person

who, in the opinion of others, 














a model



Earl Bakken is an original hero.  Growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Earl had a fascination with electricity from a young age.  By age 9 he had built a telephone system that stretched across the street to a friend's house.  As well as being fascinated with wires, cords, plugs etc. he was also inspired by the movie, "Frankenstein."  Life restoration by electricity "my career dream"  What intrigued him the most as he sat through the movie again and again, was the creative spark of Dr. Frankenstein's electricity.  Through the power of his wildly flashing laboratory apparatus, the doctor restored life to the unliving."

On April 29th, 1949, Earl Bakken and Palmer Hermundslie formed a partnership to service medical electronic equipment. They called the company:  "Medtronic."  Over the years Medtronic adapted technologies for the human body, including radio frequency therapies, mechanical devices, drug and biologic delivery devics, and diagnostic tools.  Today Medtronic technologies are used to treat more than 30 chronic diseases affecting different areas of the body. 

Director of Diabetes Research Katie Szyman (in red) surrounded by five heroes. All wearing insulin pumps. From L to R - Celine Parent, Daniela Arantes, Gabriela Arantes, Katie Szyman, Dave Nevins and Torbjorn Harstad

Medtronic Global Heroes:

Medtronic Global Heroes are 25 people who, have heroic qualities or have performed a heroic act.  They are also runners who have been diagnosed with a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, spinal disorders, chronic pain or neurological disorders.

Matthew Taylor giving an inspiring interview after his race

Recently I had the great fortune and privilege to spend time with the 24 other Global Heroes.  It was a true honor to mingle with individuals, who despite difficult, challenging conditions, are taking life head-on and living life without limits!

Group Huddle

A cooperative effort between Twin Cities in Motion and the Medtronic Foundation, Global Heroes is a first-of-its-kind program that brings runners from around the world, who benefit from medical technology, to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota to run in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon events and to spend time with Medtronic staff and fellow heroes.  This would be the 7th year of Global Heroes hosting extraordinary runners from 9 different countries. 

The term 'Hero' sounds a bit overly dramatic, but as I spent time with the Global Heroes, it made sense!  They are heroes because they are amazing!  Each hero dealing with medical challenges, while still being triumphant and impressive role models for others.

with my parents, Pat and Marilyn Nevins, during an enriching time in Minnesota