Her participation in a runDisney race is just the beginning of what makes her an inspiration to us all.
Lem, who turns 90 this November, grew up in Asia during World War II. She and her family fled their native Burma and lived as refugees in China. There, she served as a volunteer translator for the American Red Cross and would meet her eventual husband, an American soldier. After years of communicating via letters – and briefly losing touch when she moved to Hong Kong – Lem would eventually reunite with her prince, get married and move to the United States. She even went on to become a Disneyland Resort cast member in the 1970s.
For the past 40 years, Lem and her family have called Southern California home. While she has outlived her husband and friends, she is motivated to stay healthy and active so she can experience the joy of her grandchildren completing college.
Lem walks 10 laps a day around Juarez Park near her home with her two adult daughters, Caroline and Bella – past runDisney participants. When she started outpacing her daughters, they signed her up for the 5K. After her turbulent early life in Asia, Lem viewed the upcoming race not as a challenge, but as something she can finally be in control of and do for herself.
Check out the video of Lem’s experience preparing for and participating in the Disneyland 5K during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
Sid Philips is a father of two and a loving husband. He currently resides in Pennsylvania and has been a fan of Disney since his parents took him there in 1980! Sid has visited multiple Disney parks around the world and loves each one!
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