“My name is Mauricio Blandino. I am a 64 year old Nicaraguan marathon runner and brain injury survivor.”
Queens, brain injury survivor, 11-time marathon runner
Almost 10 years ago, Mauricio Blandino was discovered at the bottom of a staircase unconscious. He had fallen and hit his head on a window sill, causing his brain to bleed.
He underwent an eight-hour surgery, followed by 18 months of cognitive, physical and vestibular therapy to help with the cognitive, vision and coordination problems his injury had caused.
“I had to relearn how to do most things. Because of my challenges, I’ve had to work harder to do the things I once took for granted,” he says.
Suffering from clinical depression, anxiety and the need to understand his deficits after the surgery, Mauricio joined the Brain Injury Association and Achilles International where he met a fellow brain injury survivor who ran marathons. It occurred to Mauricio that his life held so much possibility, because he had already overcome so much. “With hope and possibility in my heart, and despite never running a day in my life, I ran the New York City marathon in 2015,” he says.
Since then, he has run 11 marathons, two triathlons and a 60-kilometer event. “I’m known as ‘that badass old guy,’ because I ran my first marathon at the age of 56,” he says.
Today, Mauricio, a competitive runner, co-captain with Achilles International, and the chair of the New York City chapter of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, advocates on behalf of brain injury survivors.
“Old age isn’t something to sit back and stare at. Today I have more passion and determination than ever before,” he says.
“My name is Mauricio Blandino, I am a 64-year-old Nicaraguan marathon runner and brain injury survivor.”