CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A duo walked the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge back and forth repeatedly for hours Saturday to raise money for a blind student pursuing her dreams.
Gina Applebee sees life through a different lens but she hasn't let her physical disability determine her life. She is currently getting her PhD in psychology.
"I've been blind since 2009 I lost the rest of my retinal vision, legally blind since I was 12," Applebee said. "I am extremely well adapted and love my perception. I wouldn't change it for 20/20 vision or all the money in the world."
As Applebee completes her degree, she is also working on another major milestone. She says building a 'Tiny Home' is exactly what she needs to be able to finally live on her own. She has lived with roommates and friends for the past 16 years.
"A tiny home is just perfect for me," Applebee said. "I have very minimal needs and having this independent living space has always been a dream of mine."
Applebee has already received donations for labor and materials for the house. She still needs $30,000 to cover the rest of the costs.
I Got Legs is a local nonprofit dedicated to helping people in the Lowcountry with physical disabilities. The founder and CEO, Adam Gorlitsky, heard Applebee's story and wanted to lend a helping hand.
"It makes my own vision connect with this larger message of enabling people, regardless of their situation," Applebee said.
"We'll raise anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 today," Gorlitsky said. Gorlitsky is also familiar with the struggles of having a disability. "I've been paralyzed from the waste down for the past 12 years."
The duo crossed the Ravenel Bridge from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday to help raise awareness and funds for Applebee's dream. Gorlitsky says this is one of many fundraisers for Applebee with I Got Legs.
"I really look forward to having my own independent living space, my degree, and creating a great life," Applebee said. "I'm just really happy to be doing this and to have so much support."