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Assurant To Honor Runner

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Gilbert Tuhabonye, an athlete who survived the violence in Rwanda, will be recognized May 13 for his efforts to overcome a severe physical injury.

Assurant Employee Benefits, Kansas City, Mo., a unit of Assurant Inc., New York, will be presenting its Shining Star of Perseverance award to Tuhabonye.

Tuhabonye, 34, was born into the Tutsi tribe in Songa County in Burundi: He became a successful high school track star.

In 1993, when the Tutsi and Hutu tribes fought, Hutu tribesman forced Tutsi students and teachers into a room, then beat the Tutsi students and teachers and burned most to death, according to Tuhabonye’s website.

Tuhabonye spent 8 hours buried beneath corpses in the burning room before he managed to escape. He suffered severe injuries, but he went on to become a track star at Abilene Christian University. He now is a running coach in Austin, Texas.

Assurant Employee Benefits developed the Shining Star award program to highlight individuals who have accomplished a great deal despite suffering from disabling illnesses or injuries.