WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 09, 2014, 09:51 PM

Woman with Lupus defies odds and participates in Fargo 5K

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a goal that not too long ago would have been impossible.

By: Amy Unrau , WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a goal that not too long ago would have been impossible.

Just two years ago Jessie Davenport was unable to walk or even care for herself.

But today she's defying odds and even her own expectations by participating in Fargo Marathon events.

In her mid-twenties Jessie Davenport says Lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system, had started taking over her life.

So much so that some doctors gave up on helping her treat it.

But she says “their prognosis” was not good enough for her.

For most people in their late 20s spending every day in a nursing home using a walker isn't part of the plan.

Jessie Davenport/ Fargo: “They told me at one point that I was lucky I was even on my feet.”

Jessie Davenport had been diagnosed with Lupus, and just two years ago wasn't able to walk. But she realized she had much more to do in life.

Davenport: “I managed to make it around the hallways here. Then after I managed to make it around it once, then I did the hallway twice. So I just kept going.”

But just walking around inside wasn't good enough. Jessie wanted to be a part of something big.

Jan Hanson/ Fargo: “The fact that she got to this point is just amazing.”

Davenport: “Just the fact that I can do it, the fact that my own feet will take me some place.”

Even with training injuries and some doctors telling her to rethink the race. Friday, with her cheering crew by her side, Jessie is proving that her disease doesn't define her life and is racing in the 5K.

Davenport: “Basically I needed to go farther. The walking helps keep me grounded.”

Hanson: “She's an inspiration to many of us.”

And after months of training a long day of prep and well over a 5K of walking done in just one day, Jessie crossed the finish line and this goal off her bucket list.

Davenport: “I did it! And I have the medal to prove it.”

Before tonight Jessie had never walked a full 5K outside.

She ended up with a time of around one hour and 40 minutes. Just shy of her goal, but says just crossing that finish line was a win in her book.