From Tragedy to Triumph

Double amputee/marathoner John Tartaglio to read from his book at Fairfield University

John TartaglioIn 24 hours, a rare bacterial infection turned healthy 17-year-old John Tartaglio, a 2009 Fairfield University graduate from Milford, Conn., into a double-leg amputee. On Monday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m., Tartaglio and his co-author Andrew Chapin will discuss the life-changing experience and sign copies of their book, "From Tragedy to Triumph," at Fairfield University's Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center. The event is free and open to the public.

"From Tragedy to Triumph" is the uplifting story of a young adult who refused to quit as he tackled seemingly insurmountable odds. Told he would never walk again, Tartaglio did what leading health professionals and prosthetic specialists alike said could never be done. Not only did he walk again, he would go on to compete in 5K and 10K running competitions, as well as triathlons and even a 70.3-mile half ironman, becoming the first bilateral hip disarticulate ever to complete these events. These prepared him for his greatest challenge outside of survival - the New York City Marathon, which he ran just five years after being told he would never walk again.

As he crossed the finish line, he realized the ultimate culmination of determination. In facing the unknown illness that took his limbs, Tartaglio transcended his disability, showing the world that, in his words, "how far you fall does not determine who you are; it's how hard you work to get back up."

Tartaglio, a professional motivational speaker, was recently featured on "Where Are They Now?" on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He was also the inaugural guest on Sean Hannity's "Great Americans" segment on Fox News's "Hannity."

Tartaglio's mission is to inspire people to pursue what they value and, in doing so, allow them to see that they can achieve anything they want. He earned his MBA from the University of Connecticut in 2014. When he is not competing or traveling to tell his story, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and other family and friends.

His co-author, Andrew Chapin, is a middle school English teacher in New Rochelle, N.Y., who got his break in 2010 when Tartaglio offered him the chance to develop what eventually became their book. Chapin, who majored in English and also graduated from Fairfield University in 2009, completed his M.S.Ed. in adolescent English education at Iona College. His next project will be his coming-of-age fiction novel "Knowing When You're Too Young to Grow Up."

Published on December 30, 2013, "From Tragedy to Triumph" is available in paperback and Kindle on, Nook, Kobo, and other major e-book formats.

For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Hastings, or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950,

Posted on October 27, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 96

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