Interview with Maria Papalia-Meier

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Affaire de Coeur's

September Calendar Girl

Maria Papalia-Meier


Interview with Author Maria Papalia-Meier

Maria Papalia-Meier is a fighter. She may have been KO'd, and down for the count, but she proved them wrong. I am a Runner is about surviving sepsis, a coma, and amputation.

Maria has a BBA with an emphasis in Human Resources, and has worked for Fed-Ex for twenty years.

As an athlete she has many accomplishments. Before her battle with the river of death she'd competed and ran in multiple 5K's.

She was told she'd never run again. She proved the naysayers wrong. Her athletic accomplishments include running in a 5K, and a two 1/2 Marathons.


  1. When you decided to write this memoir, what was the process you had to go through? When I decided I wanted to write my memoir, I started putting notes together. I started gathering facts, going thru old post to come up with a time line of events. I had to rely on other individual’s information for the time I was in my coma, so I used the letter my husband wrote detailing the daily events, and wrote family and friends asking them for information.  

   I then put it all in date order and put it in a binder. I took my notes and inserted them where they went so I had a binder of my story but no one to give it to. I was blessed to find Pam; she is the sister of a gentleman I used to work with in Atlanta. 


  1. How long did it take you from start to finish? A year 


  1. Tell us about the ups-and-downs you had to face the first few months after being released from the hospital. When I first came home, I was nervous. For the first time in a while, I didn’t have anyone monitoring me to make sure my vitals were ok and my blood work was normal. I was weak, didn’t feel like eating and was focused on all that I had lost instead of what I had been blessed with which was a second chance. I had trouble eating, I couldn’t shower because of my feet, and I was dependent on everyone for anything I needed. I had my toes attached still and had to face daily bandage changes, which was not fun. I felt like a lump in the chair whose whole life was different and at the time, I didn’t think in a good way. 


  1. What would you like to say to people who are struggling right now with their own battles? You have to take things day by day. I came up with the saying “celebrate the little victories in life. Those can lead to the biggest changes”. Because when I was focused on what I wasn’t doing (mainly running), instead of focusing on the little things, I was doing— walking, washing my own hair, making my own lunch, dressing myself… Once my mindset changed, I realized I was becoming more and more independent. I began to celebrate those little steps I was making. That is when my life changed and little by little, those little goals helped me reach my larger goal. 


  1. What is a perfect running day?90 degrees and humid LOL. My feet don’t like it but I do. I would say they are all good honestly. God has blessed me with a second chance and answered my prayers, which was for me to have the ability to run again. No day is going be perfect but any day I can lace up my sneakers and go for a run is a blessing.


  1. When did you decide to train for a marathon?I have wanted to do it for a while. I have done a few 1/2 marathons and really had an itch to do a full. I want to see what I can do; I want a new goal to attain. If I don’t try, I have already failed. 


  1. Will you be attending any speaking engagements, book signings, or conventions in 2020 and 2021? I don’t have anything planned yet. I have done a number of podcast and would love to do more. In person events will all depend on COVID and what things look like.  


  1. Where can people find your book? My book is currently for sale on amazon or you can order from your favorite local bookstore.


  1. Do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to pass on?You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Sometimes obstacles we place on ourselves are ones that are told to us by others or we place on ourselves. When you remove those obstacles then you can really move forward and reach your goals. Start small and little by little, you will reach your larger goal. Nothing worth working for is ever easy,   



Please give us the following contact information:

Personal web page.


Twitter @PapaliaMeier 

Instagram @PapaliaMeier 





I am a Runner

“You’ll never be able to run again.”

From running half marathons to being the sickest person in the hospital, Maria Papalia-Meier fought the river of death, and won.

Life changing moments, amputations, and negative thoughts refused to keep her down. With her rock-hard stubbornness, positive self-empowerment and persistence, she grabbed hope and unflinching faith to face the life handed to her. Her story offers an honest, tough-love approach to defeating pre-determined opinions, and self-imposed limitations. She refused to give up or give in.

Maria Papalia-Meier is a runner. She has awoken stronger…better.

This is her story.

Purchase I am a Runner




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