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Blade 5K goes virtual to give local boy prosthetic legs

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    OMAHA, NE (WOWT ) — The coronavirus pandemic will not stand in the way of the Annual Blade 5k.

The walk and run went virtual this year to keep on with their mission of helping amputees.

From coast to coast people showed up and showed out for Nathan.

“Nine,” he said when asked his age. “Almost 10.”

Like most boys his age, he’s focused on sports — but unlike most, Nathan is a double amputee.

“I want to join football, soccer and baseball. I want to do a whole bunch of sports,” he said.

“When his mom wrote to us and told us he’s nine years old and he’s been through so many surgeries and he needs two legs,” said Liz Wallace, race director.

His story touched the board at the Blade 5k – and they chose Nathan as this year’s recipient of new prosthetic blades for his legs.

“It was just a no brainer,” Wallace said.

Now in its third year – the Blade 5k raises money to buy prosthetics for amputees through a walk or run.

It all started with Nate Wigdahl who was the first recipient. Two years ago he was given a blade prosthetic and now he’s on the board, paying it forward.

“The love that I felt when people signed up for the race and did the race to allow me to get this, you know, to pay that forward to him… he’s just such a great kid and it’s neat to be able to do something to allow him to be active,” Wigdahl said.

The event moved virtually because of COVID-19, which impacted the number of participants — but in an unexpected way.

“We had a goal and we not only surpassed that but we’re at a 58 percent increase from last year,” Wallace said.

Runners from New York to California tied on their running shoes for an incredible young man.

“It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” Nathan said. “I get a prize? Oh yeah, my legs.”

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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