Today's walk and 5-K served as a major milestone for several people, including a young woman whose story we've been following for several years now.
News 4's Anthony Congi brings us an update on Amy Stewart's triumph over a life-changing accident.
About 3 and a half years ago, running a race was probably the furthest thing from Amy Stewart's mind.
In March of 2009, Stewart, a former soccer star at Daemen College and a then graduate student at UB, was crossing Main Street near the Daemen campus when she and a friend were struck by a hit and run driver.
Friends rallied around Stewart, hosting events like this prayer service, while the grand island woman languished in a coma at ECMC.
Two months later, a miracle; Stewart was released from the hospital.
While it was amazing she made it out alive, Stewart suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since then, life itself has been a struggle for both her and her family.
Amy Stewart says, "Once I was released from ECMC, I spent 9 months in therapy there. I've been continuing my therapy once they released me. I've been working with a trainer at the Buffalo Athletic Club to get myself back where I was."
Stewart was joined by fellow survivors of traumatic brain injuries and community members Sunday morning at the Erie Basin Marina for the HeadWay of Western New York's 5K. The non-profit organization supports and advocates those with brain injuries and other disabilities. The event, was mainly about awareness of the constant struggles those with brain injuries face on a daily basis.
"Life has been a very uphill battle. Just trying to do certain things, it's hard for me. Always working at things to make progress; nothing's ever come easy anymore," Stewart says.
Sadly, many of those who took part had similar stories.
Kelly Lynch who has survived a car accident too, says, "I was in a very death defying car accident. I died and ECMC's trauma center put me back together. This is a blessing. I am so glad to be out here. I have butterflies, I have butterflies in my stomach."
That's what made this race so special for Stewart. It was the first athletic feat for the former soccer defender since her injury.
Annmarie Stewart says, "This has definitely been one of her goals. When you're faced with the severity like Amy was where she wasn't even expected to survive, to be here at this point today is nothing short of miraculous."
With the help, and coaching from her sister-in-law, Amy crossed the finish line triumphing over tragedy.
"Megan and I were talking about how they fitted me for a wheel chair and here I am running. You have to keep on pushing through and have to believe that you can do it because I always thought that I would be able to run again and now I'm running," says Stewart.
Hundreds of workers, politicians and residents of Chautauqua County rallied in Dunkirk calling on state regulators to approve plans for NRG to convert and reopen a power plant.
Police are following up on some leads to find out who killed 30 year-old Desirae James. Friends and family held a vigil Saturday night.
Volunteers at Buffalo’s Salvation Army created holiday cards and gift bags for the seniors at the Golden Age Center.
Buffalo police homicide detectives have identified an Eggertsville man who was shot and killed early Saturday morning.
Seventy-two years after the attack that launched the US into World War II, Western New Yorkers remembered the fatal day at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
The abandoned puppy in the Town of Evans was actually turned in by the dog's owner.