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Woman Hopes "Running with Angels" Will Inspire Others

Woman Hopes "Running with Angels" Will Inspire Others

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Sammy Linebaugh reporting Each year Deseret Book receives more than one thousand manuscripts and book proposals, but only a select few are ever published.

One woman says that makes it even more remarkable that her story was chosen.

Pam Hansen lost more than 100 pounds, and then ran a marathon. But it was the other reason for her life change publishers say had them hooked.

"Running with Angels" -- that's the title of Pam Hansen's book. The two gold loops around her neck are the inspiration for her story.

Pam Hansen/Lost More Than 100 Pounds: "I came out to this track and went about up to the first turn there and I turned around and came home, and just thought - this is stupid. I don't want to do this. I just want my baby."

That was April 2001. Pam Hansen had just delivered a son, stillborn. The emptiness she felt was all too familiar. Twelve years earlier, she and husband Mark had lost a baby girl.

Looking back, she says it was that loss that set her on a path of eating for emotional comfort. For more than a decade, through the birth of her five other children, it held her captive, a prisoner in her own body.

Pam Hansen: ”I would roll over in bed and just ache. I felt nine months pregnant all the time. I feel like a part of me died with those babies...and in order to feel more alive I started walking." I was praying, crying, everything on those walks and those five, ten minute walks turned into 45-50 minute walks every morning six days a week, and something just incredible happened. I just started feeling more alive. And finally I remember the day I ran a full mile without stopping and it was just a miracle to me."

A miracle multiplied by "26".

When Pam Hansen ran her first marathon, her family, including her two little angels, were with her all the way.

Pam Hansen: "Crossing that finish line. Euphoric? Yeah, it was wonderful."

Jana Erickson/Product Director, Deseret Book: "When I read this manuscript, I called Pam and I said I laughed, I cried, I identified with what you were saying.."

Now, as Pam prepares to run her third marathon, she's telling her story.

Deseret Book is publishing "Running with Angels", and marketing the book nationwide.

Jana Erickson: "Her story isn't unique to an LDS person or to an LDS audience."

Pam Hansen: "For years I didn't feel like my body represented my true spirit. There was just so much in me that I felt like I couldn't portray, couldn't do because my weight held me back."

And Pam says she knows she's not alone.

Pam Hansen: "I'm hoping it will help somebody and give them hope."

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