KENTWOOD, Mich. -- A West Michigan group has been planning a special 5k for the last year to raise awareness on a certain issue: amputation education.
Nikki Stoner, an organizer for '5K Walk-Run-Roll & Family Education Day,' says the event is meant to support those who have had amputations in West Michigan. Stoner herself lost her leg after a hunting accident in 1994.
"It draws in people and I want to just bring the awareness 'Hey, we're just like everyone else. We can run, we can talk, just like you,'" she said.
Her brother-in-law Kyle is also taking part in the 5K. He decided to have one of his legs amputated in 2017 after suffering years of pain. He was hit by a car when he was just 13 years old.
“He’s very happy, he’s now running," said Stoner. "At 13, when you’re a child, and you can’t run and play be like a normal teenage boy, now he’s kind of living his teenage years again. He’s running, he’s chasing his daughter, his step son, he’s keeping up with everyone else now."
The 5K is getting support from a number of groups, including Kentwood Parks and Recreation. Stoner says nothing she's ever done has driven her the way planning this event has.
"It drives me every day," she says. "I love getting up in the morning, because I know I'm going to help somebody that wasn't there to help me."
The 5K and education day are scheduled April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bowen Station Park, 4499 Bowen Blvd. in Kentwood. Proceeds from the event will go toward Kentwood Parks & Recreation Adaptive Sports.