It was a day like any other when 6-year-old Kenny Bisel and his brother were walking home from the grocery store. Then, tragedy struck as a fast car hit Kenny; a second car dragged him underneath. At the hospital, Kenny’s parents received dreadful news regarding their son. Kenny was in a coma and most likely would have brain damage. After waiting with Kenny in his comatose state for a few weeks, his eyes opened, and he started showing some movement. Kenny relearned how to do everything, although he didn’t let this setback stop him. He was eventually mobile again, working jobs, traveling with his family and became an avid bowler. But the biggest quality he is notorious for is being a friend to those in need, followed closely by his unquenchable sense of humor.
Kenny, now a resident at The Bridge at Greeley, Colorado, is best known for his spirit of perseverance.
“He is a light in the middle of darkness,” mentioned Alyssa Bisel his niece. “He is a true servant for the Lord.”
Kenny is involved with a local non-profit organization called Envision. The organization promotes awareness and empowerment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On April 28, 2019, Envision held its annual Envision 5K In My Shoes race. Lori Follett, executive director at The Bridge at Greeley, asked Kenny if he would like to attend. She told him she would run as she pushed him in his wheelchair, and Kenny agreed to participate.
The race day finally arrived, and Kenny and Lori were ready to rock and roll! There were more than 300 runners ready to race and Lori and Kenny decided to run the 1K race. The racers took off at the sound of the starter. Kenny and Lori are both extremely competitive as they battled to the front. Lori had to push through with one eye due to an eye injury.
“I had to run with one good eye that morning,” laughed Lori. “It made me have an appreciation for people who persevere no matter what challenge they face. They are true heroes. Someone once said the human spirit is one of ability, perseverance and courage that no disability can steal away.”
As the race continued, it became more challenging. The road went up hill, and the pot holes seemed to be multiplying. That didn’t stop the dynamic duo. As the finish line approached, Lori and Kenny had some distance between the other runners. Before reaching the end, Kenny was beaming and cheering with his hand up and leg out. The crowd was roaring as they crossed the finish line. Kenny won first place! “Kenny looked at me and said, ‘And you were a close second’ and giggled” said Lori.
At the award ceremony, Kenny was given a blue first place medal, and Lori received her orange second place medal. Lori was later given a first place medal. Kenny joked that he still beat her in the race.
Kenny returned to The Bridge as an inspiration. The staff and residents celebrated as he wore his medal around the community. Later, he told Lori that he has a better wheelchair, so next year they can smoke the other racers. The Bridge is thinking about getting a team together for the race next year.