KENTUCKY (CNN) – A photograph from a 10k race in Kentucky is going viral. It’s not of the winner, or even a medal ceremony.
It shows a woman, determined not to give up, crossing the finish line hand in hand with her son and a police officer, two people who kept her going.
10K Runner Asia Ford says, “When you see the photo, just know that you’re worth it. And you can do anything that you put your mind to.”
Two years in and 217 pounds lighter, Asia Ford is on a journey to be strong and healthy for her three children. “I just knew that all of those times that we went to the doctor’s office and the doctor told us what could have happened, I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.”
So stopping during the Rodes City Run was not an option. But mile after mile, step after step, it was getting unbearable. “My breath was kind of like, it felt like it was taken from me.”
Lt. Aubrey Gregory, Louisville Metro Police says, “The EMS guys got out and talked to her, went to check on her. And she was like ‘I’m not stopping. I’m not stopping.’ So she kept going.”
Ford says, “And he said, ‘you’re going to finish the race, aren’t you?’ And I was like, ‘yes.'”
Gregory says, “And I said I’m not going to let her stop. We’re going to do this together. I got out. She grabbed my hand. I grabbed her hand.”
So step by step, soon became the last mile. And then Asia, her son and lieutenant Gregory crossed the finish line, hand in hand.
Gregory said, “Watching her go across that line, raising her hands, I felt that all over. It was a great moment.”
Ford syas, “For him, I knew that was my angel at the time, because at mile 5 was where I was going to give up.”
Asia’s son, Terrance, held her other hand. He’ll tell you he has a new hero. “Looking at her and how she used to be and how she is now is inspirational. It makes me want to push harder to do the things that I want to do in life.”
And a new perspective on those in blue. “With all the stuff that’s going on now with police, it’s nice to know that there’s good people out there.”
The very reason that Lieutenant Gregory wears his badge every day. “That is what being a police officer is about: service to others, helping.”
And his helping hand to Asia became her inspiration to continue.
Ford says, “I’m thankful to you because you are my angel. You’re that person that– I could’ve stopped, that could’ve been the end of my race, but you didn’t allow it. So I praise you and I thank you, and you’re my inspiration.”
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