OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A woman who nearly lost her father decides to raise money to help her fitness trainer, fellow workout partners and more. She worked to get a new piece of equipment aimed to save lives in seconds.

“I’m calling it ‘the power of our community’,” Owner Jill Stoppel-Davis said.

She’s the owner of Excel Wellness Studio in Overland Park.

For 15 years they’ve made hundreds of people feel comfortable while getting fit.

She said although automated external defibrillators, or AED machines, aren’t’ required in gyms, they’ve wanted to add one.

“As a small business owner especially coming out of the pandemic, and still fighting some of those battles, it just hadn’t been a priority because of the expense,” Stopple-Davis said.

This fitness family stepped in to raise nearly $700 and bought an AED for the gym.

Cherise Lyon led the charge.

Stopple-Davis said AEDs can usually run about $1,200, but Lyon worked out a deal with the company to drop the price, and it includes a warranty.

“You can’t put a price on someone’s life,” Lyon said.

She’s been working out here for five years and noticed the big red button that unlocks the door and calls 911, but no AED.

Her father experienced cardiac arrest four years ago, and the AED saved his life.

“It was so stressful because you don’t have any control,” Lyon said. “So, I think having the system in place with the AED is giving us back control and we’ll be saving lives.”

While giving it all on the elliptical, these clients can now train with an extra peace of mind.

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“Our population is definitely aging, and this is a concern for them,” Stopple-Davis said. “So, to be able to have a lifesaving device on hand to get to them faster if we would have something happen is really important.”

Stopple-Davis challenges other fitness centers to reach out to the community for support to get AEDs inside their gyms.