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Custom Workouts holds fundraiser for athlete recovering from accident

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Naja Hill


After a tragic biking accident, an Orcutt man was left paralyzed with a diagnosis that said he may never walk again. Against all odds and with the help of the community he is walking again and healing every day.

Dennis Fidel was all smiles as community members showed up to support him in his journey to recovery.

“I am grateful for the community coming together and showing me the support they have been,” said Dennis Fidel an athlete recovering from a biking accident.

Just last May Fidel was bed stricken after the severe accident happened while he was mountain biking in Orcutt.

“I suffered full paralysis from the neck down and did intense rehab and just worked hard at it,” said Fidel.

Custom Workouts held the fundraiser to help Fidel pay for training and physical therapy.
A group effort that started when the gym's owner Marc Gatson made it his mission to see Fidel walk again.

“When he came to me, he was paralyzed. He was in bad condition. He couldn’t move much at all. Now he's doing lunges, he's doing squats. He's moving his arms,” said Marc Gatson owner of Custom Workouts.

The event was a collaboration of volunteers and donations from many people that have never even met Fidel.

“Our community members, gym members, business owners in the community, friends, and family have all come together and donated beautiful gift baskets,” said volunteer Michelle Buhring.

“This community comes together here like no other place then I have ever been. And it's really awesome to be apart of it,” said the owner of Complete Nutrition and Fitness Susie Duane.

The Santa Maria Police showed their support, buying 25 tickets.

“The support of the community is such a motivation for me I just keep striving for the best,” said Fidel.

700 tickets were sold giving Fidel a sense of purpose.

“I can't let them down. I've made it so far. From where I started at,” smiled Fidel.

His journey has inspired many others on how to overcome.

“It gives you perspective on life and things you think matter in life and what doesn’t matter,” said Duane.

“Talk about tenacity this guy never stops pushing he is always pushing to another level,” said Gatson.

Fidel says it was his family and friends that made him refuse to give up.
And today he is walking, something doctors said might not happen.

“You can make it and beats the odds, even though the odds are against you,” said Fidel.

Odds that have taken a village to help Fidel conquer.

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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