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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Bergen Native Pushed Quadriplegic Boyfriend Along Boston Marathon Route

Kaitlyn Kiely pushes Matt Wetherbee through the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon course. Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Kiely Instagram
Kiely and Wetherbee. Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Kiely Instagram

"For years, running has been a way for me to relax, unwind, and take some time for myself," writes Old Tappan native Kaitlyn Kiely in

"It has a way of making me feel strong, empowered, free, and happy. But I never truly realized what it meant to me until I was faced with one of the greatest adversities of my life."

In 2016, her boyfriend of seven years, Matt Wetherbee, became paralyzed from the shoulders down during a basketball game.

Kiely promised him when he began intensive physical therapy that year that they would run the Boston Marathon together -- even if it meant she'd push him in a wheelchair the entire way.

That's exactly what happened, thanks to a partnership with  HOTSHOT, a local manufacturer of sports shot drinks aimed to prevent and treat muscle cramping, to run the race route a week before it opened up to registered runners, Kiely wrote on

After weeks of training, sometimes with Wetherbee in his chair, others weighted bags up to 150-pounds when it was too cold for her boyfriend to join her, the pair celebrated an emotional moment crossing the finish line on Monday, April 9 -- happy to accomplish what they set out to do two years ago.



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