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Dozens rappelling down a historic Flint hotel for a good cause

By Coty Kuschinsky

Flint, MI (WNEM) -- A first of its kind event in Mid-Michigan had people over the edge for a good cause.

Dozens of people rappelled down the side of the historic Durant Hotel in downtown Flint raising money for the Disability Network.

Angela Lofton doesn’t call herself a dare-devil.

Rappelling down a building might sound like she is but it’s just a small price to pay for a good cause.

“The scariest part was when they told me to just drop out of my chair onto the edge,” Lofton said.

Lofton says the decision to propel off the edge of Flint’s Durant building came after she heard of an opportunity to raise money for the Disability Network of Flint.

“The Disability Network they enable people like me to do stuff like this,” Lofton said.

It’s a cause close to her heart because at 32-year-olds, Lofton was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affects her optic nerve and spinal cord.

She now uses a wheelchair every day.

“The chair is legs for me,” Lofton said.

More than 60 other participants took the leap of faith, nine stories into Flint’s skyline.

The funds raised will help the Disability Network break down barriers and create a more inclusive community.

"So the funds that are raised from this will help some of our programs like accessible kayaking and some after-school programs for students but we hope each year this gets bigger," said Luke Zelley, the CEO of the Disability Network.

For Lofton, she hopes her moment of intense bravery was an inspiration for others as well as a jumping off point for more inclusive opportunities in the future.

"I always want to show them that it doesn't matter what your situation is you can still persevere and do things that you want to do if you put your head to it," Lofton said.

The Mott Foundation announced they plan to match every dollar raised up to $25,000.

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