Local freerunner motivated to walk again - NBC40.net

Local freerunner motivated to walk again

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ATLANTIC CITY -

Hundreds came out to support and raise funds for Atlantic City High School junior Jon Manno at the Moose Lodge Saturday afternoon.

Jon was paralyzed from the chest down during a freerunning accident in October, but those close to him say his spirits are high.

"He's upbeat, like my husband said, determined to walk and he's just not letting anything get him down or get in his way," said Jon's mother Leeann Manno.

"There's like no question in his mind, he's going to walk," said Jon's father Greg Manno.

Jon's freerunning highlight reels and subsequent videos chronicling his recovery have hundreds of hits on Youtube and Jon says he can apply the lessons he learned in freerunning to his own recovery.

"Working hard, persevering, overcoming obstacles. We talk about it all the time when we are jumping over a table, every physical obstacle is a symbol we have for the obstacles we have in life," said Jon Manno.

Jon says the support means a lot to him and that he considers himself lucky that his injury was not worse.

And like the obstacles he once soared over, Jon is eager to recover and reunite with his freerunning teammates.

"I have to get better, not just for myself but for them so I can be there with them and train with them and help them be the best people and best freerunners they can be."

Jon's parents say he will continue his rehab for the next six weeks in Philadelphia all while keeping up on his schoolwork.

And if his Youtube videos don't show it enough, Jon is never one to shy away from a challenge.

"I really have to slow down, take my time," said Manno.

"I have to be patient, still working with that, and everything is a challenge but everything is an opportunity."

Drawing motivation from a saying he thought of a few days ago, Jon's spirit can serve as an inspiration for all of those around him.

"We can all dream but we shouldn't just dream, we should achieve," said Manno.

Saturday's benefit will help pay for modifications to Jon's home and continue his road to recovery.

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