August 28, 2014
Dr. John DiTraglia, a local pediatrician, visited Illinois on Aug. 24 to compete in the Chicago Triathlon. DiTraglia is not new to athletic competition, as he has been a loyal participant in several local athletic events including TOSRV, Run For Your Life, and The Shawnee Bear Run. There was a new challenge for DiTraglia this year, as he would have to compete in his favorite athletic competitions with only one arm.
In 2012, DiTraglia was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in his upper left arm. The sarcoma was removed just days after competing in the 2012 Chicago Triathlon. Several weeks of radiation followed, and the cancer subsided.
Unfortunately in early 2014, the tumor resurfaced, and amputation of the entire arm was the only option. This was life changing news, but DiTraglia recovered remarkably fast and has not missed a beat.
DiTraglia faced new challenges when returning to his active lifestyle, but he refused to sit on the sidelines. DiTraglia has returned to his occupation in pediatrics, innovated one-handed devices and kept competing in athletic competitions. He certainly was not going to sit out of the Chicago Triathlon, which has been a family tradition for the past 6 years. He reconfigured his bike to be conducive to one-arm riding, and he quickly mastered the art of one-arm swimming.
“He is the most resilient person I’ve ever known,” his daughter Nina Myers said. “Not only is he an inspiration to his family, but to everyone he meets.”
Despite new challenges, DiTraglia has not missed any of his favorite competitions. He placed 20th in the Clydesdale Division at the Chicago Triathlon, and he has no plans to stop competing.
Submitted article. Source: Emily DiTraglia