NewsKern's Kindness


Young girl inspires others as she gears up for the Bakersfield Marathon

“Nobody’s life is limited."
Posted at 5:28 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:35:08-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Running as a family is something the Pursel family doesn't take for granted.

“You know your life is an inspiration to other people, do you know that?" said Belinda Pursel to her daughter Anastasia.

Anastasia was born with Down syndrome and seventeen months later, was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It was an intense battle. We went through a lot and we overcame," said Belinda.

Today, Anastasia is a healthy fourth grader and she loves running. She first fell in love with running during her elementary school’s Jog-A-Thon.

She began doing marathons in 2018, first being pushed in a stroller by Kern County resident James Miller before crossing the finish line herself in 2019.

"I feel happy, happiness and joy," said Anastasia.

Anastasia’s parents, Belinda and Scott, and siblings, Sarah Celine and Benjamin will be joining her team, "Team No Limits," in the Bakersfield Marathon on March 27.

"Her team name is 'Team No Limits' because there’s no limits to what she could do and we’re there to just push her and guide her along the way," said Scott.

Community members, including some of us from 23ABC, will also join Anastasia. Belinda said the support means a lot.

"It makes life sweeter. This community is amazing and we’re grateful to be part of it," she said.

Belinda said running is symbolic of their family’s story.

"It kind of is a mirror of the strenuous journey [that] we were walking and the finish line is the victory, [so] it is actually analogous to what we have already walked through," she said.

And she hopes Anastasia inspires others.

"Life is full of obstacles but it’s a choice what you make out of it and really, there is no limits to what you can do," said Belinda.

“Nobody’s life is limited," said Anastasia.

23ABC and Team No Limits would love to see you at the marathon on March 27, whether you walk, run or volunteer. To sign up, click here.