Denver police officer John Adsit on a new mission during recovery

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Officer John Adsit at the Rise and Run 5k on Saturday May 2, 2015.

Officer John Adsit at the Rise and Run 5k on Saturday May 2, 2015.

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DENVER -- Denver police officer John Adsit is on a new mission. He has been searching for a way to give back since the accident that nearly killed him in December 2014. Now he has found it.

He just launched a new nonprofit organization called Adsit Strong. It’s goal is to help injured first responders.

“A friend of mine created a logo that said Adsit Strong. It started popping up on social media and as it progressed and I got better, it was really encouraging for me to see. It's not something I came up with because I'm so cool or so strong. It really became a tag line that came when I was out and didn't know what was going on,” Adsit said.

Through his own experience, he learned there is a real need to help first responders who are injured on the job.

“The purpose of this nonprofit is to help other officers in similar situations to me ... not only officers, any first responder, paramedic, firefighter. We all are going out there and putting our lives in serious jeopardy," he said.

"One of the things I found going through the process was there are lots of resources for officers and families when an officer dies in the line of duty. There was not really anything set up for those who have made it through the process and now are going through the physical and mental issues that carry on much longer.”

Adsit lives up to the Adsit Strong name every day. He works hard in physical therapy and has come a long way. He faces even more surgeries in the months ahead. He attributes a lot of his remarkable recovery to his doctors and therapists, family and friends.

Officer Tony Lopez Jr. at a news conference before being released from Denver Health on Dec. 31, 2015. (Photo: FOX31 Denver)
Officer Tony Lopez Jr. at a news conference before being released from Denver Health on Dec. 31, 2015. (Photo: FOX31 Denver)

"Sgt. Tony Lopez and I are always chit-chatting with each other, pushing each other [to] go to the next level," Adsit said.

Lopez was shot several times in December. He will be the beneficiary, or at least one of them, of the first Adsit Strong fundraiser, the Rise and Run 5K.

“But he wants to pay it forward as well. We have a couple other officers that really need our help,” Adsit said.

The Rise and Run 5K is the first fundraiser for Adsit Strong. But it is the second annual race.

"Mentally,  I believed I was done walking and running and competing as an athlete myself," Adsit said of last year's race. "It was another way my church encouraged me to not only get to that event, but to run it. I truly believe it was a miracle for me. If there is any way I can shorten that cycle for another first responder who is in that spot, lying in bed, people saying you can do it you can do it. I’ll do it. And I hope to be able to mentor and help others to mentor these first responders who think 'I can’t get out of bed.' To help them get out of bed, you can take those steps. I don’t know what could be more rewarding than that."

The Rise and Run 5K will kick off at 9 a.m. Sept. 17 at Foundry Church in Castle Pines.

For one morning, Adsit wants the community to come together like they did last year for him.

“It’s for fun, it's for the community, we`re looking for lots of activities this year," he said.

The race is right around the corner. They are looking for sponsors and participants.

For more information and to register visit the AdsitStrong website.

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