by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A community is rallying around a local teacher who lost both of her legs to a bacterial infection.
Students, local businesses and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are planning a 5k for her in the University City area.
Reading teacher Martha Nauman is using her health journey as a lesson for her students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School.
Early last year, she was diagnosed with pneumonia, when her body didn't respond to antibiotics, her organs started to shut down.
"Unfortunately, the medicine that they had to give me to get my heart and kidneys to start working again forces the blood from your extremities to those major organs,” Nauman said.
That caused her to lose both legs below the knee and some fingers.
The avid runner, swimmer and cycler had a lot of adjustments to make.
“This is a pin system so the pin locks into the bottom,” Nauman said.
She said the overwhelming support of the community made all the difference.
"Because of those people, I’m walking again, because they gave me the desire to walk again,” she said.
The same students and community members have organized a 5k to honor Nauman.
Proceeds will go to the Limbs for Life foundation, which provides prosthetics to people who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Fifth-grader Nathaniel Gebregziabher is thrilled to help.
"Something that's bigger than us, we're doing this for something really important, and it's going to a good cause,” he said.
Students are spreading the word on social media and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's University City division is recruiting local businesses.
"As of right now, there's over 100 businesses that have pledged their time, their effort their money towards this run,” said officer Chris Kopp.
"Join as members of the community, and feel valuable and know that they can make a difference, not only to heal my heart, but to heal the hearts of other people,” Nauman said.
Nauman has been working with a trainer to get ready for that 3-mile walk.
It's on Saturday, April 26.
If you’re interested in taking part in the Governor’s Village 5k, you can register here.
To visit the Facebook page that the students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary set up for the 5k, click here.