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Covina Community Raises Money For Former Nurse, Amputee To Make Home More Accessible

COVINA ( — Prosthetics can be extremely expensive, so when Karen Cresco's artificial arms were taken off her front porch, she not only took a huge financial loss, but a hit to her independence as well.

She has since replaced her prosthetic limbs, but she still struggles to get around her mother's home. Her story inspired the Covina fitness community on Saturday to raise funds so she can make the house handicapped-accessible.

The former nurse had to have all her limbs amputated in 2011 after contracting a devastating case of bacterial meningitis. She has since moved in with her mother, but needs help with things like taking a shower.

Jonathon Smith, a firefighter and owner of SHIELD CrossFit, heard Cresco's story and wanted to help make her home handicapped-accessible.

He's been working tirelessly to raise the $100,000 needed by tapping into the close-knit CrossFit community.

He hosted a competition Saturday where participants pay $20 for the "workout of the day." The event also features a raffle, food, live music and a beer garden. Smith says 100 percent of the event will go to Cresco.

"Karen suffered a great loss to herself and to her quality of life - something we all take for granted until it is gone. I hope we can help Karen gain back some of her independence and freedom and show the community that people do care for each other," Smith said.

Those who wish to give but cannot attend the event can donate at

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