Avis Brodess has always had a competitive streak: she was a nationally ranked tennis player as a teenager, and the first female arbitrager on Wall Street in her 20s. But her most grueling challenge came in her 30s when as a wife and mother, she was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a rare and incurable neurological disease where the brain can't control the neck muscles.
It eventually left Brodess completely disabled and led to years of taking debilitating drugs. Then, Brodess discovered a medical breakthrough, a procedure that involved implanting electrodes in her brain and a rechargeable battery-powered stimulator in her chest wall. It was risky, but she went ahead with it. In 2018, Brodess triumphantly hiked 683 miles across Israel on the Israel National Trail.
Watch Brodess recount how her mother helped her get back on her feet: