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Push to Walk’s 3rd Annual Summer Boot Camp is NEXT WEEK! Events start Sunday, July 13 – Saturday, July 19. Come and join the fun!

Please check out the calendar of events HERE.

We offer a variety of events, vendors, products, education, information and FUN for everyone!

The idea behind Summer Boot Camp is to bring current clients, prospective clients, friends, family and YOU, the general public, together!

Some events are held on site at Push to Walk, 6 North Corporate Drive, Riverdale, NJ and some are at other nearby locations. All the details are listed on the calendar linked above.

This is a great way for our clients to meet one another while participating in fun, sporting and social events, to learn from each other, to learn about new products and services and to meet Push to Walk friends and donors. Please join us for our Opening Event, an Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 13 at 4 pm with Guest Speaker Dan Monzo, Team USA Paralympic Snowboarder. Other activities include seated yoga, adaptive tennis and trivia night. We will attend Dr. Wise Young’s Open House at Rutgers on Thursday, July 17, as well as host our own Open Houses for visitors and vendors on Tuesday and Thursday.

This is a great way to see Push to Walk in action, and HAVE SOME FUN!

Please register for events by calling 862-200-5848 or emailing Stephanie at slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

Thanks, and hope to see you next week!

Cynthia

Hello Everyone and Happy Monday!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend AND remembered exactly what we celebrate on July 4th. If not for the brave heroes who often gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, I might not be sitting here today. I might not be doing the work I am doing, writing what I want to write, and enjoying the countless freedoms we enjoy every day of our lives. While originally designated to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, I think it’s also an annual celebration of being a free country.

Our Armed Forces continue to make sacrifices each and every day to fight for those freedoms, leaving behind parents, spouses and children – and too many never return. I am thankful to all those I know who have served our Country, and the many more I have not nor ever will meet……..I hope the celebrations we all enjoyed at least show some measure of respect for the true heroes who have given us freedom and continue to fight each and every day. THANK YOU for your service and sacrifices for all of us.

Fighting for Freedom

Fighting for Freedom

As I think about soldiers and veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries and brain injuries, I only hope that Push to Walk can be of some service to them in return. Trying to put together a program for Veterans and find funding for the people who have served our country is a priority for us, and yet we can’t seem to put the right pieces of the puzzle together yet. Be assured we are working on this idea, as we know so many returning soldiers need the specialized program we provide, and we want to be able to offer it to them. If you have any ideas on individuals or organizations who might want to partner with Push to Walk in this effort, please let me know.

For the 364 days in between July 4th holidays, let’s not forget the brave men and women who represent the true meaning behind the holiday.

Cynthia

On Wednesday, May 7, I attended this Symposium on Current Advances in Spinal Cord Injury Research held at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (formerly UMDNJ) in Newark. I was joined by Push to Walk’s Program Director, Tommy Sutor, another trainer (Isaak) and a client. We also saw Steven, a member of Push to Walk’s Medical Professionals Network. I was proud that Push to Walk was well represented at a conference of this stature.

The program for the day included Robert Heary, Brian Strom, David Lowell, Charles Tator, Susan Harkema, and Philip Popovich. After a networking type lunch, the afternoon speakers were W. Dalton Dietrick, Brian Kwon and V. Reggie Edgerton. (I have chosen not to include all of their degrees and titles, because this paragraph would have looked like alphabet soup! Suffice it to say that all of these speakers are at the top of their fields and are very well educated and experienced!)

Admittedly, most of the science presented is over my head, similar to other research and scientific symposiums I attend, but I do appreciate all the different efforts that these scientists and their teams are working on. Bringing research from “the bench to the bedside and back again” is a slow, time consuming tedious process, but so many people are dedicating their lives and professions to spinal cord injury research that I continue to be hopeful that soon enough, one or more will actually become a reality in “curing” spinal cord injury.

From the Miami Project’s hypothermia and Schwann cell studies, to Susan Harkema’s extraordinary work with epidural stimulation, much is happening in the field. During the lunch break, ¬†our Push to Walk trainer Isaak, made one very telling statement: everything that was presented (and I do mean everything) had ONE common denominator: EXERCISE! It was true! All of the speakers and presenters spoke about the importance of exercise, movement, activity based training and rehabilitation. While not many of the clinical trials and tests (although successful to some extent in animals) have actual and tested results, everyone spoke of the need to exercise.

This reinforced our work at Push to Walk that we do every single day. Getting people out of their wheelchairs, helping them to strengthen themselves and seeing what their bodies CAN do is our main focus in every single workout. Movement, movement and more movement – all with a plan, of course! Every day we see people reaching their goals, performing new movements and becoming more independent. While the science progresses along the path of approvals, tests and evaluations, we plug away every day to help people keep their bodies strong and healthy – ready for the cure when science DOES bring us something to help all of those with spinal cord injuries.

May God bless the scientists, their minds, hearts and hands as they do this VERY important work!

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for Push to Walk to win a $25,000 grant to help Veterans and provide workouts! Vote Here!

Thanks, and have a good weekend! Cynthia

The Abilities Expo is today, tomorrow and Sunday (Friday, May 2 – Sunday, May 4) at the NJ Convention & Expo Center @ Raritan, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837. Come visit us at Booth #808!

One of the reasons I love this Expo is because it truly does center on abilities. What people CAN do, what products can help them live life to the fullest. In addition to vendors with products and services, many nonprofits are there which provide valuable information, all kinds of accessible vehicles and lots of adapted sports equipment and activities.

There is also a full schedule of presentations in adjoining meeting rooms and a schedule of demonstrations like wheelchair dancing and quad rugby. The full schedule of events can be reviewed by clicking HERE.

Go and spend a few hours – I am sure you will find it worthwhile!

P.S. Don’t forget to keep voting EVERY DAY for Push to Walk to win a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant. Click here to vote for us!

Thanks, and enjoy the weekend! Cynthia

On Sunday, April 27th, 18 members of Team Push to Walk completed the full, half and half relay as part of the NJ Marathon event in Long Branch. Congratulations to all!

Each team member raised a minimum of $500 which will be used for our Client Scholarship Fund. A special SHOUT OUT to Team Snyder, comprised of Mandi, Bob, Paul, Maureen, Kristie, Mark and Katlyn; clients Lois, Kevin and Tim; and friends/staff including Ken, Karla, Wes, Aimee, Margaret, Matea, Eugene and Sean.

Pushing a handcycle among thousands of runners is a difficult challenge, but Lois found a way and finished 13.1 miles strong! Kevin placed third in the handcycle division of the full marathon, and was flying through the course for his first ever race. His fan club joined him at the finish, sporting matching t-shirts and race flags to congratulate him! Tim trained for the event (and raised a LOT of money!) but was unable to compete that day. He doesn’t want to let his supporters down and plans on riding the entire 13.1 miles in the next few weeks. That is dedication!

Eugene finished first in his age group for the full marathon – way to go! He was running for his cousin, Anthony, a Push to Walk client.

Having completed a few endurance events myself, I know that it takes determination and commitment to even sign up for an event like this. Push to Walk is very grateful to all our team members who not only dedicated themselves to the task, but enlisted support from family and friends to raise money for our clients. Thank you to everyone who participated, donated and came to cheer the team on!

As of this writing, we are just a few dollars short of our $30,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted – please help us exceed that amount, enabling people who face financial challenges the opportunity to take advantage of our Push to Walk program. If you’d like to donate, click here. Thank you!

Cynthia

Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday is the big day for Team Push to Walk and the thousands of runners participating in the events related to the NJ Marathon on Sunday. Yes, only 2 days away! We have hand cyclists and runners entered in all three events: the full marathon, half marathon and half marathon relay.

I know what it takes to commit yourself to a goal, dedicate time and energy, and the feeling of accomplishment in reaching it. I am running and cycling with each one of you in spirit! I admire your dedication and am especially grateful to our Team Push to Walk members for raising funds for our Client Scholarship Fund.

We are oh so close to reaching our goal of raising $30,000 this year as I write this blogpost. YOUR donation can help us reach that goal or EXCEED it. That would be AWESOME! Click here to donate to our Team or an individual member.

If you are in the Long Branch area or surrounding towns (check out the event site for spectator locations), come and cheer our Team members on!

Thanks, and have a great weekend! Go Team, go!!! See you at the finish line!

Cynthia

Boston Strong 2014

My heart is in Boston today, as I think about the Marathon last year and the tragic events that resulted in people dying, losing limbs, suffering brain injuries and more. I think about the runners, the spectators and the first responders. People who were called upon to act and save others. People who lost their friends and family members. Tragedy abounds. But through the tragedy, the Boston spirit has survived, pulling others through the most difficult and unimaginable days they have encountered.

It almost seems like an afterthought that today’s event is about the 36,000 participants who have trained, sacrificed, and devoted themselves to their goal of completing 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston and surrounding towns. It is just so much more this year. These 36,000 people are running for all of us – for freedom, for strength, for resiliency. For each other. For those who were killed and injured. For those who perhaps witnessed the events and have never recovered emotionally. Thank you for running this year.

In some of the media coverage, I have seen pictures of people who have lost limbs and who are using wheelchairs. There are probably spinal cord injuries and brain injuries among them. Having connections to others (including my own son) who has a spinal cord injury, my heart hurts for what they are facing. But my heart also knows there will be better times ahead. None of it will be easy; most of it will be filled with challenges, fear and uncertainty. May we all be BOSTON STRONG and help those in need, even if it’s just in spirit, thoughts and prayers.

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