Man uses power of Facebook to help gym buddy get prosthetic arm

Man uses power of Facebook to help gym buddy get prosthetic arm

(WWBT) - A Central Virginia man wanted to take control of his health, but there was one significant road block standing in the way of him exercising the way he wanted to. That is -- until a fellow gym-rat gave him a spot.

Austin Bergman transformed himself a few years back -- shedding about 80 pounds. Evan Fay had a similar experience but with a much different set of circumstances.

"I was born with a congenital birth defect.  Never really known any different so to me it's everyday life," Evan explained.

It was everyday life until these two met.

"He was telling me that the Powell Prosthetics was going to build this arm for him and that insurance wasn't going to cover it and he needed to raise six thousand dollars for it," Austin remembered.

Evan had about $4,000 saved for his new prosthetic and Austin said he'd help with the rest of it -- under one condition.

"I dared him to come in the gym at 4 a.m. one morning to come work out with me and I promised him we'd get him the arm if he came in and worked out with me," Austin said.

"My initial response was, 'why 4 a.m.?' and then I met him there at 4 a.m.," said Evan.

Austin explained why he loves working out so early: "It's a lot of fun, there's nobody here, it's just a challenge you know?  Get up and get going."

Evan said, "I thought he was crazy but if he's going to help like that, I'm going to be there at 4 a.m."

Austin is a real estate agent with Valentine Properties and has a big following on Facebook.  He asked people to donate, saying he'd match dollar for dollar until they raised the $2,000 Evan needed.

"Within about two hours we had all the money that we needed and we ended up shutting down the GoFundMe account because money just started pouring in from all over the US."

Evan got his prosthetic, which is built specifically for lifting. Now he's repaying his gratitude in the only way Austin will allow.

"Just keep coming here and using it for what it was made for, that's the only way I know how to say 'thank you' really," said Fay.

"I just wanted to give him a hand and hey, here we are," Bergman said laughing.

Evan says he's since negotiated with Austin -- he doesn't go to the gym at 4 a.m. much anymore, and sticks to working out in the evening.

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