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Kalamazoo hand cyclist competing in Boston Marathon

Posted: 4:43 AM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-15 04:49:19-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- A fundraiser is planned for Friday to help raise money to send a Kalamazoo hand cyclist to compete in the 2019 Boston Marathon.

Nick Nieboer, 20, was born with spina bifida, which caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. But his love of sports has never stopped his competitive spirit, working to build a very strong upper body.

Since training outdoors in Michigan winters is nearly impossible for him, he started working with a personal trainer at the Kalamazoo Planet Fitness, 4409 Stadium Drive, where he has been working around the clock to prepare for the marathon.

“The staff has been so helpful and encouraging, and their support of my hand cycling racing endeavors means a great deal to me. I am so grateful for their financial support as I face the expenses associated with going to the Boston Marathon in April and the upkeep of my racing bike," Nieboer said.

“Being able to help Nick, both physically and financially, in his journey is a real joy,” said Chris Klebba, CEO of Impact Fitness.

The fundraiser is from 4-8 p.m. Friday February 15 at the Planet Fitness in Kalamazoo located at 4409 Stadium Drive.

“Bringing the Kalamazoo community together at our local Planet Fitness in support of this young man as he works to achieve his goals is at the heart of our organization’s focus to connect, encourage and support members in an impactful way.”

The event is free and open to the public but guests are encouraged to make a donation to help Nick get to the marathon. The event will include free food  and Planet Fitness gear in addition to a chance to win a 12-Month Planet Fitness Black Card membership.