‘Sweat 4 Surgeries’ raises awareness around surgical care gap

Saturday, Aspire Fitness held its 7th Annual 25-hour fitness event, with all proceeds going to Surgery on Sunday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – One area gym is using its passion for fitness to raise awareness around the surgical care gap in the United States, as well as give back to its community.

Friday and Saturday, Aspire Fitness in Lexington held its 7th annual ‘Sweat 4 Surgeries’ event, with all proceeds going to Lexington non-profit Surgery on Sunday, with back-to-back classes every hour for 25 hours. According to Aspire Fitness, the event has raised about $244,000 in the past six years for the program.

“I thought that I could apply my craft as a personal trainer to not only help my clients get better results, but also help the community, so it means everything,” said Aspire Fitness Owner Josh Bowen.

According to Surgery on Sunday Medical Director Dr. Paul Kearney, surgical care is out of the question for people who are uninsured and under-insured. Dr. Kearney says that the organization, which provides free surgical care to patients, is the only one of its kind in the region, starting back in 2005 after recognizing a need.

“When it comes to free surgical care, there was just nothing available for these people. So they often had to take big financial risks to undergo simple surgeries that would allow them to go back to work,” said Surgery on Sunday Medical Director Dr. Paul Kearney.

When ABC 36 visited the event Saturday, about $47,000 had been raised and more than 100 people had participated in the event, which featured a wide range of classes, from high impact classes to kids classes, hosting guest trainers from gyms like Orange Theory and REACH Fitness.

According to Surgery on Sunday Medical Director Dr. Paul Kearney, the organization, made up of volunteer staff, serves people across Kentucky and surrounding states, particularly in the Appalachian area.

“I mean, a simple emergency room visit could cost you about 1 or 2,000 dollars. Most of them don’t have that money to spend. We keep them out of the emergency rooms and most of the physicians around here know about us and know their patient is financially compromised so they send them our way and we take care of them,” said Dr. Kearney.

Dr. Kearney says many of the patients seen are unable to work because of their conditions, only adding to their financial constraints.

“We have lots of patients with cataracts…ophthalmology is probably the most frequent, followed by general surgery, which is mostly hernias and gallbladders, which can be very problematic to patients who are trying to work, you know, they hurt or they’re sick. So it’s very important,” said Dr. Kearney.

The event ended at 6 P.M. on Saturday and a check was presented by Aspire Fitness to Surgery on Sunday.

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