Climbing to the top
Woman helps adapt physical activities for disabled

Staff writer

Pulling herself from one rock to the next on the indoor climbing wall at Grand Valley State University, Kelly Merz tries to show that life in a wheelchair hasn't stopped her from doing anything.

"Why can't someone in a wheelchair rock-climb?" said the Zeeland resident, a recreational therapist at Mary Freebed Rehabilitation Hospital who has spent the last five years in a wheelchair.

As one person after another with varying disabilities went up the rock wall as part of Mary Freebed's adapted rock climbing clinic Friday, the answer was clearly, "Why not?"