TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The road to recovery has been a long and emotional one, but cyclist Kristin Blaise now walking tall.
In August, Blaise was struck by an SUV while riding her bike along Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler. She suffered a broken back, ribs, and scapula in the crash. Blaise returned home last month, and has been learning how to walk ever since.
Blaise began her recovery in a rehab facility, where she said the moment of impact was a blur. A few weeks later, KLTV spoke with Blaise the day she returned home, and started to learn how to walk. Thursday night was the culmination of Blaise's efforts as she took her first steps since the crash in front of dozens of cheering friends.
"(Friday) will make 11 weeks and it means so much to take my first steps in front of my friends," Blaise said.
Blaise said she never thought of giving up, and her first steps prove she's a fighter.
"I feel like people know that I'm a fighter and for the first time in my life being big and tough really paid off," Blaise said.
Blaise said while in rehab she continues to work on building strength, adding she will be wearing a body cast a little longer.
"I'll have this on for another three weeks but other than that it's been really smooth sailing," Blaise said.
Blaise set a goal shortly after leaving the hospital that she will return to riding a bicycle by the end of December. On Thursday night, Blaise said she is determined to meet that goal, and will start preparing once her cast comes off.