Veteran amputee taking part in Empire State Building run-up

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Empire State Building Run-up is just days away, and one participant is inspiring others through her perseverance.

Patty Collins has yet to meet a challenge she hasn't liked.

"It's just a goal, pursue dreams, have son, to see mommy still dreams at her age then why not do it," Collins said.

That's why she will join over 200 people at the Empire State Building on Wednesday night, and run up all 86 flights of stairs to reach the famed observatory.

"It's a go from the gun as fast as you can, 20-25 minutes of hard work, view from top has to be awesome," Collins said.

Collins isn't just any adventure runner, a New Jersey native and Rutgers graduate, she has fought for her country in Iraq with the United States Army, only to return home and lose her left leg in a bike accident.

"There have been so many inspirational people around me, find inspiration in all walks of life," Collins said.

So, Collins' disability didn't tame her active lifestyle. She has completed several triathlons since her accident, holding the world record for a distance triathlon for female amputees. And she even returned to military duty, leading a battalion and being deployed to Afghanistan.

"I have been blessed, my disability is best thing that ever happened to me, everyone has some disability, never give up," Collins said.

Wednesday night will be her first time battling the stairs; it's just the latest challenge.

"The training is done, stay loose, relax, hydrated, let the fun come Wednesday night," Collins said.
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