Celebrating perseverance to the Finish Line

Running helped Bank of America’s Laura Paplauskas recover after a devastating accident.

Two years ago, Paplauskas was hit by a car while biking home from work. She suffered fractures, torn ligaments, damaged tendons, sprains and bruises and was completely immobilized on one side of her body from her hip to her toes. It was only after reparative surgery and more than a year and a half of physical therapy that Paplauskas could take part in vigorous activity.

I run the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle because my body can still move. I celebrate that while I am slow, and have scars that cannot be seen, I can still move forward and continue to persevere.

Laura Paplauskas
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Wealth Management

After her final physical therapy session in April 2016, Paplauskas, understanding how lucky she was to have made a full recovery, made a commitment to herself. Calling 2016 her year of redemption, she celebrated at the finish lines of 5K, 10K and 15K races as well as sprint-distance, Olympic-distance and half-ironman- distance triathlons. To mark the one-year anniversary of completing her therapy, Paplauskas will participate in her first Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K on April 2.

“I am thrilled to be able to just line up at the start line with everyone else,” said Paplauskas, a senior vice president, estate settlement officer at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Chicago. “Knowing the sheer scale of the race and the excitement it brings to this city, I am very eager to join my fellow employees and friends at such a fun and exciting event to kick off my 2017 running season.”

Paplauskas is one of 189 Bank of America employees running the race; dozens more will volunteer at the finish line, helping to distribute medals to all participants.


Finding her way to running

Before Paplauskas’ accident, she led an active lifestyle and loved to swim and bike, but the running component was not particularly enjoyable. Her outlook on running has completely changed since then, and every race has become a celebration of her body’s accomplishments.

“I run because my body can still move,” said Paplauskas. “I celebrate that while I am slow, and I have scars and damage that cannot be seen, I can still move forward. I celebrate that I have endured against the odds and that I continue to persevere.”

Upon completing the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Paplauskas is planning a half marathon and 25K distance race. She’s even considering running her first Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2017.

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