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Medtronic Announces 2018 Global Champions Team

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) --Twenty Runners Representing 13 Countries to Participate in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend This October

DUBLIN - July 31, 2018 - This October, 20 runners from 13 different countries around the world will come to Minnesota to participate in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend. Each of these remarkable individuals will bring with them a story of triumph over adversity, as they all have overcome or actively manage serious health conditions with the aid of medical technology. These conditions include lung cancer, lymphoma, heart arrythmias, type 1 diabetes, chronic pain, heart disease, Parkinson's Disease, and obesity, among others.

The annual Medtronic Global Champions program recognizes outstanding individuals who refuse to be defined by their medical conditions. This year's team includes participants ranging in ages 20 to 66, and who were selected from a pool of more than 450 global applicants. Runners hail from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, England, Finland, Ireland, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States.

"Medtronic is thrilled to announce the 2018 Medtronic Global Champions, an extraordinary and diverse group that we hope will inspire others who may be struggling with their own medical conditions," said Rob Clark, vice president of Global Communications and Corporate Marketing at Medtronic. "These individuals offer proof that a medical difficulty does not mean the end of an active lifestyle. On the contrary, they offer a testament that great things are still possible."

The 2018 Medtronic Global Champions are:


  • David Aucamp - Capetown, South Africa

    David, 56, has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator  (ICD) to help manage an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • Angad  Chandhok - Navi Mumbai,  India

    Angad,  22, uses insulin and a continuous glucose monitoring system to manage type 1  diabetes.

  • Ciaran  Conroy - Portlaoise, Ireland

    Ciaran,  56, has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.

  • Verna  Cook-Jackson - Taupo, New Zealand

    Verna,  66, has a pacemaker to help manage an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • Brent  Hanson - Perham, Minn.

    Brent,  37, has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help manage an abnormal  heart rhythm.

  • Marina  Jones - Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

    Marina,  66, had lung surgery due to cancer.

  • Thomas  Plath - Memphis, Tenn.

    Thomas,  54, has a pacemaker to help manage an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • Meghan  Wilkie - Liverpool, N.Y.

    Meghan,  32, has a nerve stimulator to help control pain.

  • Christine  Youngblood - Anchorage, Alaska

    Christine,  34, has undergone surgery and chemotherapy for cancer.

  • Maria  Fernanda Zuazo - Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

    Maria,  45, has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.


  • Mat  Fors - Mariehamn, Aland Islands

    Mat, 37,  has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.

  • Craig  Godwin - Eugene, Ore.

    Craig,  51, has a stent to help manage heart disease.

  • Irma  Grundling - Pretoria, South Africa

    Irma,  59, has a deep brain stimulator (DBS) to help manage some of the movement  symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

  • Roma  Ilchenko - Mikulichi, Ukraine

    Roma,  19, has a deep brain stimulator (DBS) to help manage dystonia.

  • Brenda  Maher - Ontario, Canada

    Brenda,  62, has a stent to help manage heart disease.

  • Andrea  Saccani - Crema, Italy

    Andrea,  32, has an ileal pouch to help manage pancolitis.

  • Cherise  Shockley - Noblesville, Ind.

    Cherise,  37, has an insulin pump to manage diabetes.

  • David  Smith - Victoria, Australia

    David,  50, has a pacemaker to help manage an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • Jara  Weinkauf - London, England

    Jara,  31, has a pacemaker to help manage an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • Qijiao  Yan - Beijing, China

    Qijiao,  35, had gastric sleeve surgery to combat obesity.

Each year, the Medtronic Global Champions team is selected through a cooperative effort between Medtronic and Twin Cities In Motion, the nonprofit organization that operates the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. The races begin in Minneapolis and finish near the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul, Minnesota. All participants must have a qualified and medically cleared running partner that accompanies them while racing.

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and Medtronic TC 10 mile races will take place on October 7, 2018. To learn more about the 2018 Medtronic Global Champions team, visit or the Medtronic Global Champions Facebook page.

About Medtronic Global Champions
The Medtronic Global Champions program recognizes athletes from around the world who have received medical devices or solutions to treat health conditions such as heart conditions and disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, obesity, gastrointestinal or urological disorders and continue to demonstrate an active lifestyle and passion for running. There is no restriction on the manufacturer of the runner's medical technology to be eligible for consideration.

About Twin Cities in Motion
Twin Cities In Motion (TCM) has been the region's premier running event company since 1982. Its mission is simple - ignite everyone's inner athlete. TCM is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit that organizes 27 races throughout the year, including the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, a Top 10 U.S. marathon, to provide opportunities for people of all ages, abilities, and experiences to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Collectively, TCM and its charity partners that fundraise at TCM events give back more than $1.4 million annually to a variety of causes.

About Medtronic
Medtronic plc (, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies - alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 86,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together.


Jeff Trauring
Public Relations

This announcement is distributed by Nasdaq Corporate Solutions on behalf of Nasdaq Corporate Solutions clients.

The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Medtronic plc via Globenewswire