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Five years! Can you believe it? Push to Walk opened its doors for the very first time on January 15, 2007. We had three clients, two part time trainers, and barely 1000 sq ft of space. Most of what filled the gym was equipment we had at home that Darren used.  While he was at Project Walk in California for a week that January, we moved some of the equipment from home to the new Push to Walk location. Some other things he had at the gym at Ramapo College, and we did have a few platform tables built for the new gym. I am very proud to say that with only a $15,000 loan from me and my husband, we opened our doors. According to a three year schedule, that loan was paid off at the end of 2009, and we have sustained ourselves ever since.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have contributed to our success: the many clients who have placed their trust in us; our ever-widening circle of donors who have contributed to us and/or participated in our special events; my awesome staff who take their jobs to heart each and every day; dedicated Board Members who volunteer their time and energy to oversee our operations; many friends who have helped along the way; and other related agencies and organizations that have assisted us in one way or another.  With everyone’s help, we have more than survived these first 5 years – we have thrived!

I expect 2012 to bring more exciting news and events to Push to Walk and the entire spinal cord injury community. With the growing understanding and acceptance of specialized exercise workouts for people with SCI and the planned U.S. clinical trials, there is much to look forward to in the coming year. We can only hope that successful clinical trials would eliminate the need for our gyms in the future, but until then, we are here to help as many people as possible.

As we celebrate this 5th Anniversary, I am now even more keenly aware of the challenges and struggles that people with SCI face every day. I am also aware of the successes, triumphs and goals achieved. I have to thank all those who have shared their stories with me, helping me understand a little of the world they face each and every day. As a parent of a young man with a spinal cord injury (Darren, injured in 2004, now almost 26 years old) , I see one piece of the puzzle. Talking with clients and others I have met with SCI, their parents, children, spouses and siblings, you have all taught me so much. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your lives. I hope I can continue to help others as I learn what I can and pass on to others in need.

Thank you for being part of the Push to Walk Family!

Cynthia

 

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