Press Release

Medtronic Announces 2015 Global Heroes Team, Marking 10 Years of the Program and 234 Runners Honored

Medtronic, Inc.

Distance Runners from Six Continents Benefitting from Medical Technology
to Run Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Events this October

MINNEAPOLIS - August 20, 2015 - Twenty-five long-distance runners who benefit from medical technology will be honored as the 2015 "Medtronic Global Heroes" when they run as a team in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon or Medtronic TC 10 Mile on Sunday, October 4, 2015.

This year's team includes runners from six continents and 16 different countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia. Each runner has a medical device to treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, spinal disorders, chronic pain or neurological disorders.

This year marks the program's 10th anniversary. Launched in 2006, the program honors people who have overcome chronic disease conditions and continue to demonstrate a passion for running, and a commitment to their communities.

"Over the years we have been so inspired by all these athletes.  Beyond running, Medtronic Global Heroes represent passionate and empowered individuals, who not only proactively manage their own health needs, but encourage, inspire and contribute to the well-being of their families, friends and communities," said Dr. Jacob Gayle, vice president, Medtronic Philanthropy.

Over the past 10 years, Medtronic has celebrated:

  • 234 runners from 34 countries
  • Runners' ages have ranged from 18 to 68 years old
  • Eligible devices include pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), spinal devices, neurological devices, insulin pumps and heart valves (devices can be made by any manufacturer)
  • Conditions have included heart disease (arrhythmias, valve disorders), diabetes, incontinence, essential tremors, Parkinson's disease, and chronic pain
  • Honorees receive complimentary race entry, air transportation, meals and lodging

Global Heroes participants are selected by Twin Cities In Motion, the non-profit organization that directs the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Race entry and travel expenses are provided by Medtronic Philanthropy.

Additional information about the 2015 Medtronic Global Heroes team can be found at, or visit Medtronic Global Heroes Facebook page.

The 2015 Medtronic Global Heroes are:


Delphine Arduini - Saint Restitut, France
Arduini has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.

Liga Arniece - Riga, Latvia
Arniece has a pacemaker to treat atrioventricular block (or AV block).

Sergei Boronin - Moscow, Russia
Boronin has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.  

Jack Clancy - Cape Town, South Africa
Clancy has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.

Sarah Escutia - Warren, Michigan
Escutia has a pacemaker to treat neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting).

Laura Gee - Nashville, Tennessee
Gee has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes. 

Kenji Kamiuchi - Kyoto, Japan
Kamiuchi has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes. 

Tomas Mahony - Waterford, Ireland
Mahony has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes. 

Dr. Melanie Schipfer - Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Dr. Schipfer has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes. 

Michael Shepard - Marlow, United Kingdom
Shepard has a pacemaker to treat a slow heart rate (bradycardia).

Silvia Verhoeven - Etten-Leur, Netherlands
Verhoeven has a pacemaker to treat 3rd degree AV block and bradycardia, a slow heartbeat.


Sianga Akende - Lusaka, Zambia
Akende has an artificial heart valve to treat mitral stenosis.

Dr. Luciana Alves - Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Dr. Alves has a pacemaker to treat inappropriate sinus tachycardia and bradycardia, a slow heartbeat.

Katie Bartel - New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Bartel has an insulin pump to manage type 1 diabetes.

Camilo Cavalcanti - Vitoria, Brazil
Cavalcanti has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to treat ventricular tachycardia, a fast heartbeat.

Nicola Derryberry Maurer - Eagan, Minnesota
Derryberry Maurer receives gastric electrical stimulation to manage symptoms of gastroparesis.

Crystal Gail Welcome - Stone Mountain, Georgia
Gail Welcome runs with a neuromodulator to manage pain.

Wen Gu - Shanghai, China
Gu has a pacemaker to treat bradycardia, a slow heartbeat.

Sally Hughes - Durham, United Kingdom
Hughes received bone and spinal therapies to help manage scoliosis.

Yoshitaa Jayabalan - Klang, Malaysia
Jayabalan has an insulin pump to treat type 1 diabetes.

Carmen Malouf Florek - Tampa, Florida
Malouf Florek has an ICD to treat cardiomyopathy.

John Morris - Afton, Minnesota
Morris has a stent to treat coronary artery disease.

Dr. Michael Shaughnessy - Solon, Ohio
Dr. Shaughnessy has a heart valve to treat a congenital bicuspid aortic valve and ascending aortic root aneurysm.

Dion Taka - Christchurch, New Zealand
Taka has a neurostimulator to help manage pain as a result of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2. 

Yulong Zhang - Kaifeng, China
Zhang has a neurostimulator to help manage symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

About Medtronic Global Heroes
A cooperative effort between Twin Cities In Motion and Medtronic Philanthropy, the Global Heroes program recognizes runners from around the world who have a medical device to treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain and spinal and neurological disorders. There is no restriction on manufacturer.

About Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
Known as the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America(TM), the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is a three-day weekend celebration of fitness that includes the Medtronic TC Family Events, TC 5K, presented by Fredrikson & Byron, TC 10K, the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, and the marathon. Twin Cities In Motion hosts the event through its mission of promoting healthy lifestyles through running events and community outreach. Visit for more information.

About Medtronic and Medtronic Philanthropy
Medtronic plc (, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.  Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.



Rich Fischer
Medtronic Philanthropy

Danielle Pierce