New docu-film Dead Man Running tells the inspiring story of Todd "OC" Shoemaker who received a miracle from God that defied medical odds and saved his life. Having already been diagnosed with Cancer and Parkinson's Disease, when Todd learned he had the autoimmune disorder Myasthenia Gravis in 2009 his future looked grave, and doctors believed he had just weeks to live. But Todd never lost hope that God had a plan for his life, and in what some thought would be his 'final days' he had an experience that can only be explained as supernatural.
Concurrent with his healing Todd heard a word from God to 'run'. Having not been physically able to do so for the past ten years, this may have been a surprise to his friends and physicians. But Todd always believed he would indeed run again and had a new pair of running shoes in the closet to prove it! So, as a faithful listener to God's leading in his life Todd laced up his shoes and ran 1-mile that first day - and has run more and more nearly every day since. In 2020 Todd ran over 1,000 miles and shows no signs of stopping, today you'll still find Todd praying and sharing the Gospel with those he encounters on his daily runs.
Q: Todd, thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on your new film Dead Man Running. Let's start with yourself, tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL. My childhood was spent playing sports and hanging out with friends. I graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a degree in Speech/Communications and Theater.
Q: Tell us about your illnesses, how and when did you discover you were unwell?
I first got sick in 2002. Over the next 17.5 years, I would be diagnosed with Arthritis, Cancer, Parkinson's, Myasthenia Gravis and Gastroparesis. Q: Were you a Christian at that time? How was your faith affected during the time you were unwell? - I had been a Christian for many years before my illness. My crazy beautiful health journey only brought me closer to Jesus. It also strengthened my marriage.
Q: How and when did God heal you?
On November 3, 2019, with only weeks to live my wife Laura and I were invited to a prayer and healing event under a big tent. We invited a lot of friends who needed a miracle in their own lives. It was a beautiful night. The tent was filled with the Holy Spirit. Dr. Chauncey Crandall shared a message and then asked those that wanted prayer to come forward.
For several minutes, I stood praying for those friends that needed prayer. Then it was like Jesus put a spotlight on me and shared he created this night just for me. As I was walking forward, I felt myself picked up. As I turned to see what one of my friends was helping carry me, I saw two very tall angels carrying me to the front. I thought I might be having a hallucination, but several other people including my wife saw them also. As I was anointed with oil, I felt my body become very warm. As I was prayed over I felt a hunger pain for the first time in years.
On November 3rd, weighing 112 pounds, living off a feeding tube and unable to speak, Jesus began to heal my body. I ate solid foods for the first time in over 3 years. My voice started to come back. I started running a month later. Almost two years in Jesus continues to bring healing to me in every area of my life.
Q: Tell us more about your call to run?
I have always enjoyed running, but had not run for years. During my open-heart surgery to remove my tumor, Jesus gave me a vision that he wanted me to start running and share the gospel. I ran my first marathon a year after surgery and have run over 300 marathons to date.
Q: How and when did you decide to make your story into a movie?
I actually just wanted to do a short video sharing my story and stick on YouTube. Several friends shared my story was more than a 30 minute video. So here we are ready to launch a feature film. Only Jesus. Q: What can our readers take away from the movie? - The movie is about faith, endurance, community, overcoming and love.
Q: How are you currently serving the Lord and spreading the Gospel now?
Jesus has called me to walk and encourage others going through their own crazy beautiful journey. Jesus is allowing me to share His story at different events. Sometimes it's just a simple phone call with someone dealing with the storms of life. Jesus is allowing me to come alongside them and run the race together.