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Fitness Center Built For People With Disabilities

May 1, 2012, 6:59 AM by Kellee Azar

Fitness Center Built For People With Disabilities

Being injured in an accident is a tough recovery for anyone. But being told you'll never walk again is difficult news to swallow.   But a new wellness center in Sioux Falls is helping one man overcome his diagnosis.

Like many dads, having children brought new dreams into perspective.  But a life-threatening accident almost took away one KELOLAND man's dream for his daughter.

After a construction accident 14 years ago, Jim Kapperman was told he would never walk again. That's when his dream of walking his daughter down the aisle began to fade. Now a new Accessible Wellness Center in Sioux Falls is creating new hope for him.

"I'm just in training to help walk my daughter down the aisle at the end of the month," Jim Kapperman said.

Other gyms and wellness centers are not as easy to get around in a wheel chair. Now this program is giving him just what he needs.

"It helps by keeping the legs loose and letting me get stronger so I can do that walk down the aisle," Kapperman said.

The Accessible Wellness Program at Sanford is not only helping dreams come true but also helping fill a void in the community.

"Most wellness centers we have around here are designed for the able-body person but yet accommodate the people with physical disabilities.  But we reversed that," Sanford Physical Therapist Kevin Horner said. 

After receiving a grant, Horner went to work designing and getting the best trainers to help those with disabilities. And after only being open for a month, he is feeling great about the work that's getting done.

"It's been wonderful; as of today we have 12 members in one month. I am also doing assessments as a part of the grant on their initial visit and then we'll do another assessment at the end of six months," Horner said.

Kapperman's dream is on its way to coming true and he hopes the wellness center can do this for many others.

"It's going to turn out to be pretty good and I hope more people take advantage of it," Kapperman said.

Sanford is taking applicants for the Accessible Wellness Program.  Just set up an appointment with Kevin Horner.

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