ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Sometimes the greatest challenges in our life come at the worst possible time. For St. Paul resident Mercedes Olson, a rare neurological condition meant putting her dreams of giving back on hold.
Walking this weekend's Susan G. Komen 3-Day event was a big deal for her. Fighting cancer, even though she's never had it, is a passion. Her goal is to walk 3 events, and on Sunday she got one step closer to that -- while also getting quite the surprise.
"Miracles happen, I believe that,” Mercedes’ mom Rachel Olson said.
Before every step we take, there’s a question. And the answer is either yes or no.
"I'm very grateful to still be here,” Mercedes said.
The questions in her life have seldom been easy. Two years after her father's suicide in 2007, she hoped to be in St. Paul at the Race for the Cure.
"The week of the walk, Mercedes got sick and we weren't sure what was going on with her,” Rachel said.
Answers seemed impossible to find. What began as a panic attack became much more, and soon Mercedes was catatonic with her life on the line.
"It was definitely kind of an out of body experience,” she said. “Like, am I really here..."
It would be over a month before she woke up, and years before she'd make it back to the walk. But for Mercedes, this was one walk she had to finish.
"It's kind of an ultimate high to get past that 60-mile marker," she said. “Nothing could beat this moment.”
But little did she know that on her final step, there was one final question still lingering.
"Some in my family aren't very good at keeping secrets so we'll see,” Travis Anderson, her now fiancé, told Fox 9 before proposing.
Anderson knew this was the place to do it – a time when past suffering could come full circle and give way to joy. Mercedes said “of course” when he asked her to marry him.
Answers like questions are not always clear, but on Sunday, "of course" most certainly meant "yes.”