An MSU student, 22-year-old Jacob Peterson, will arrive at the 2019 Boston Marathon starting line on Monday, April 15 against incredible odds.

Peterson is affected by dystonia, a rare and often disabling neurological movement disorder. Peterson experiences uncontrollable jerking movements in his arms and upper body, tremors in his legs, involuntary blinking, muscle spasms in his neck and voice box, and anxiety.

“Dystonia doesn’t only affect you physically,” Peterson explains, “it affects you mentally, and it’s exhausting.”

His dystonia symptoms disappear while running—a fact often reported by individuals affected by the disorder.

He was diagnosed with dystonia at age 17. Now, he wants to give back.

“I want to spread awareness, and run on behalf of those with dystonia who can’t. My case is not as severe as other people I have met,” says Peterson.

And if he hasn’t faced enough odds, while training for the Twin Cities Marathon to qualify for Boston, Peterson was assaulted, and injured so severely his jaw was broken in multiple places.

Peterson started a Go Fund Me page to benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation: