Emotional photo: Officer helps mother on weight loss journey finish race

LOUISVILLE, KY -- A photograph from a 10k race in Kentucky is going viral.

It's not of the winner or even a medal ceremony. It shows a woman, determined not to give up, crossing the finish line hand in hand with her son and a police officer -- the two people who kept her going.

Asia Ford once weighed in at 474 pounds she said, but has lost 217 pounds and counting. The mother of three now strives to live a healthy lifestyle, and the Rodes City Run was one step in that journey.

"I just knew that all of those times we went to the doctor's office and the doctor told us what could have happened, I wasn't going to let that happen to me," Ford told WAVE-TV.

Just because Ford was determined to finish the race doesn't mean it was easy.

She described how it felt as she approached the end: "My breath was kind of like, it felt like it was taken from me."

Lt. Aubrey Gregory of the Louisville Metro Police saw that she refused to give up, but he thought she could benefit from some encouragement.

"The EMS guys got out and talked to her, went to check on her, and she was like 'I'm not stopping, I'm not stopping, I'm not stopping' -- so she kept going," Gregory said. "I said 'I'm not going to let her stop. We're going to do this together.' I got out. She grabbed my hand. I grabbed her hand."

As they walked, Ford, her son Terrance, and Lt. Gregory got to know one another. Before they knew it, the finish line was in sight. They crossed it together, making for an emotional moment and one priceless photo.

The photo of the woman triumphantly finishing the 10k has gone viral

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"Watching her go across that line, raising her hands, I felt that all over. It was a great moment," Gregory said.

Terrance said he admires his mother and respects Lt. Gregory for stepping in.

"Looking at her and how she used to be and how she is now is inspirational. It makes me want to push harder to do the things that I want to do in life," he said of his mother. And of Gregory: "With all the stuff that's going on now with the police, it's nice to know that there's good people out there."

Of his now viral act of kindness, Lt. Gregory claims he was just doing his job.

"That is what being a police officer is about -- service to others, helping," he said.

His helping hand gave Ford her strength to continue.

"I knew that that was my angel at the time because at Mile Five was where I was going to give up," Ford said. "I could've stopped. That could've been the end of my race, but you didn't allow it."
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