Two women bonded by spina bifida to run Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon together

By KBJR News 1

June 17, 2014 Updated Jun 17, 2014 at 7:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- It's the power of social media...

" I started watching Misty via Facebook and following her and I extended an invitation to her and introduced myself and my daughter and my family to her and we got to talking," said Jennifer McDonald, a runner and mother from Proctor.

and the love ofher daughter that brought Jennifer McDonald and Misty Diaz together from across the country. A friend shared Diaz's story with McDonald, and revealed a personal connection.

"Misty is an athlete and has spina bifada like my daughter does. Beth thought it would be good for me to see what Misty has done with her life despite the fact that she has a disabling condition," said McDonald.

Misty Diaz, of Long Beach California, has overcome obstacles, including addiction, to run more than 50 races. McDonald was so inspired by her story, she reached out to Grandma's Marathon to help Diaz run one more race.

"I emailed Grandma's Marathon and asked them to help me with a complimentary ticket for Misty to come to Duluth to run with me," said McDonald

And Grandma's obliged...the McDonald family is paying Diaz's airfare and opening their home and hearts to her this weekend.

"One I'm grateful, and just the fact that people don't see there's still really good people out here in this world."

Diaz and McDonald will finish the half marathon together in support of those affected by Spina Bifida.

"The more that I shared my journey the more people started coming to me and being like I have a daughter, I have a son or daughter who was just born with spina bifida, thank you!" said Diaz.

But it's an even bigger lesson to McDonald's 7-year-old daughter.

"She can do anything she puts her mind to and she puts her heart to because she doesn't have to settle for a life less than what she's capable of living," said McDonald.

Diaz and McDonald will join nearly 6700 people registered for the Garry Bjorklund half Marathon this year.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati