Georgia Tech University
Undergraduate - Chemical Engineering
FOR FINISHING THE RACE:
Undergraduate student Dillan Pierce went from spending his time studying chemical engineering and competing with Georgia Tech’s club crew team to being unable to walk. Pierce began experiencing medical issues during spring training and was eventually taken to the hospital where he spent a month in the ICU. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an extremely rare neurological disorder that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack the peripheral nervous system. Following the ICU, Pierce spent nearly a week at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, followed by eight weeks of outpatient physical therapy to relearn how to perform most everyday tasks, including how to walk. With immense dedication, Pierce went from not being able to walk in April to recently completing Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race on July 4th. Pierce continues to recover while training to return to competition with the crew team.