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Wilkes-Barre Native Kovalski Reflects on Charity Run

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  • Written By: Allied Services Integrated Health
Wilkes-Barre Native Kovalski Reflects on Charity Run

REPOSTED FROM CITIZENS VOICE by Staff writer Stephanie Panny.

Staff photographer: Dave Scherbenco

When Danny Kovalski recalls being struck by a vehicle five years ago, he pictures the spot where it happened. He remembers seeing pictures of the accident, what people have told him and what he read about it.

Last weekend, Kovalski finally put it behind him.

“It’s very emotional, but it’s also very impactful that I’m here today to be able to get by it,” Kovalski said. “Everytime that I ran by there, I’d pick up my pace and speed by knowing I’m able to get by it and that it’s past me.”

The Wilkes-Barre native participated in the David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge, where he had to run or walk for 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, from Friday through Sunday.

It wasn’t until recently, Kovalski said, that he was looking for a way to give back, and when he came upon the challenge, he focused on it. He decided he was going to raise money for Ryan’s Run Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and adults dealing with disabilities and which directly funds Allied Services Integrated Health in NEPA. Following his accident, Kovalski spent about a month at the John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in Wilkes-Barre — an Allied Services facility.

As of Tuesday, Kovalski raised more than $10,900 through a GoFundMe set up for Ryan’s Run and donations made directly to Allied.

“It’s amazing to see the amount of support I had, but some amazing results have come from it,” Kovalski said. “And what I was able to raise to be able to give back to an amazing organization that not only helps me but has helped so many others? Yeah, the numbers are astounding.”

Kovalski’s planned route purposefully took him past the site of the accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and other lingering physical effects like aches, pains, and instances of severe vertigo. Beginning in South Wilkes-Barre, Kovalski ran first on Pierce Street before crossing the levee onto Market Street, then made his way over the bridge before ending up back where he began.

The route was about 4.25 miles in length and paced at about 45 minutes. Kovalski said although he started the challenge with energy, that slowly ebbed away as the hours ticked by and the mile total went up.

“The challenge had an element of physical exertion beyond average,” Kovalski said. “You don’t realize how much your body needs to sleep.”