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Community comes together to help Lowcountry man participate in Cooper River Bridge Run

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The Cooper River Bridge Run is just a few days away and one Lowcountry man is sharing his story of how a community came together to help him get across the finish line. 

At first glance, maybe even after a second, you wouldn't know that Jerry Nelson is an amputee.

At 66-years-old Nelson is planning for the Cooper River Bridge Run. 

"My first year I did it... it was unbelievable," he said. 

For the last three years he's been running across the Cooper River with thousands of other people.

"Each year I got a little bit faster," Nelson said."I walked a little bit faster each year." 

The folks at Carolina Orthotics and Prosthetics got Nelson a custom prosthetic to make this year's run a bit more special.

"He gives us too much praise," said prosthetist Steven Kramer."He's done all the work. The prosthetic is a tool, so he just took off and went, and we tried to give him a little encouragement throughout the way." 

The custom fit shows the bridge run logo and serves as a walking advertisement that you can do anything you put your mind to.

"Not only being an amputee but showing the other amputees that you don't have to be in that chair," Nelson said."You don't have to succumb to your accident."

Nelson was in a wheelchair for a year before Kramer helped him to walk again. 

"They came to me and they said,'Look, I can make this leg and I can get you to do this only if you want to do this,'" Nelson said.

Nearly six months later, he was signing up for the bridge run.

"It's very rewarding to see someone at their lowest point and you be able to bring them back up," Kramer said.

Nelson remembers the first time he saw the new leg.

"He showed it to me and I put it on and I took off," Nelson said."He said whoa, whoa."

Kramer and Nelson plan to complete the run together pushing through the finish line with a few other amputees, showing the world that there are no limits.

"If I can jump out of an airplane, I can run the bridge," Nelson said. 

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