Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘disabilities’

With more beautiful weather for running outside, I was able to run a bit faster, running some intervals to increase my overall time. I’m not sure it will work in the actual event, but worth a try! It also makes the run more interesting, and some would say, less boring. But I am never bored when I run. I have so much going on in my head!

I don’t listen to music when I run. I can’t stand anything in my ears (that’s a whole story by itself!). But I do keep tunes in my head! A song I like to sing to myself is “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross. I change “ride” to “run” to be more meaningful! Now if only I could run just a bit faster as I sing to myself.

If you have songs that will help me increase my pace and go a little faster, please let me know. I need some new ones to keep in my head!

Please support Team Push to Walk in the NJ Marathon on Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Long Branch, NJ. Our team members are running the half relay (about 6.5 miles), the half marathon or the full marathon. Each of us is raising a minimum of $500 to help Push to Walk clients reach their goals. Your donations will help us continue to help those with paralysis live more independently and live a higher quality of life. Please link to my personal fund raising page to read my story!

https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/PushtoWalk/2017/individual.do?participationRef=884.0.307203085

Thank you!

Read Full Post »

Running gives me time to think, clear my head, focus on something (or not!), and sometimes even gives me creative ideas. So I thought – why not write blog posts again?? Here’s to resurrecting my blog, the first entry in a long time!

Many of you already know that I retired at the end of 2016 from the day to day responsibilities at Push to Walk. While I continue to be involved and work with both the staff and the board, I can make my own schedule and do things on my own time.

However, on my visits back to our awesome new location in Oakland, NJ, I continue to interact with the clients and family members. Our clients face challenges every single day, a lot that we don’t see and most that we can’t even imagine. Every day, I know they all “push harder” because they have to. So that is my theme this week – week 5 – of my half marathon training program “Marathoning for Mortals.”

Each week, I have 3 days of running, 2 days of cross training and 2 rest days. One of my rest days usually includes tennis, but not every week. This past week, I really did not feel it was a rest day at all – it was a real workout, and fun, too!

As I think about the goal to “push harder,” I think about our clients, their families and loved ones, their communities and support systems. My mind wanders to the actual pushing of their own wheelchairs, family members who need to push their loved ones, and how this takes a toll on their bodies. But is a basic necessity of living life in a wheelchair. I also think about how our clients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and CP “push” themselves to reach their goals. Whether it’s the number of reps or the amount of weight needed for an exercise, or it’s walking a number of steps or a certain distance, the challenges are many. All of our trainers push our clients to do their best, set goals, work towards those goals and celebrate success.

In fact, I think it was these very thoughts that helped Darren come up with the name Push to Walk in the first place! If my training program can help me stay focused on reaching my goals, reminding me of our clients and their challenges and successes, I will be a better runner and a better person for my efforts. Help me “push harder” this week by letting me know you are with me on this journey! Thank you!

Read Full Post »

Happy Monday everyone! We finally had some warmer temperatures and sunshine this weekend – yay! A sure sign that spring has finally arrived!!

With warmer weather comes the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities (better than shoveling snow!). Come outdoors and join us on April 26 in Long Branch and surrounding towns as several of our Push to Walk clients take part in either the full or half marathon. Some are cycling themselves; others are raising funds as part of the event and I am running for them. Check out my story here.

Our clients work hard everyday to accomplish the smallest of things we able-bodied people take for granted. Whether it’s personal care, eating, going out and about – it all takes extra effort and planning from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. Some of our clients need more assistance than others; some are quite independent. In either case, the exercise and strengthening they receive at Push to Walk helps them do more for themselves and live more independently.

Please become a part of our team, and our client teams, by supporting us in this event. Check out the link here to see the entire list of team members. Then check out the stories of Alan, Darren, Gabe, Kevin and Lois. Their determination and commitment to help themselves is evident in their stories. I’m also very proud that so many of our staff members are joining us: Cory, Christine, Jackie, Kendra, Nick and Tommy. Our Board Chair Bob Snyder and his wife Mandi put together another awesome team this year, and several friends and family members round out the group.

I hope you’ll make a donation, spread the word for us, and come cheer us on! Help our Push to Walk clients achieve their goals!

Thanks, Cynthia

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brings health, happiness and joy to your lives!

Yesterday was the actual day of Push to Walk’s 8th anniversary!! Wow! When I look back to all that has happened in 8 years, it is hard to comprehend it all. As a still young but growing organization, I believe we have a great combination of motivated clients, dedicated staff, active Board members and committee volunteers, and generous donors.  All of these groups contribute to the sustainability and growth of Push to Walk, of which I am very proud. So many people have contributed to our success, and I am grateful to each and every one of you, for whatever it is you have helped us with (more people than I can count; more things than I can remember!).

As a nonprofit entity providing a very valuable (and otherwise not available) service to our clients and their families, friends and others with paralysis, it is sometimes forgotten that we must run as an efficient business as well. I am trying to focus on this aspect of the business in 2015, always keeping in mind that first and foremost we are a mission-driven, people-based organization. We exist to provide the highest quality of service, 100% of the time, to help our clients reach their goals and live a higher quality of life.

With your support, we will continue this pursuit of excellence, continue to grow as an organization and as individuals, and continue our quest to help so many people on their journeys in life that have connected us. Thank you for believing in us, and “pushing” with us!

Cynthia

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone & happy Friday!

We are so excited that Giving Tuesday was a success for Push to Walk! It was our first foray into this now nationwide trend, and what a great idea it was to participate. Thank you to our staff members Stephanie and Anthony for coordinating the effort; for our trainers, aides and board members for jumping in, and to those who either commented or donated as a result. What a great team effort – THANK YOU! I know I enjoyed showing everyone that even I can do push-ups! We have a tough crowd in our Push to Walk gym everyday to compete with, so I was glad to do my part! Check out our Facebook page to see all of our fun videos!

I learned yesterday that one of our matching gift employers committed to matching 150% of employee donations made on Giving Tuesday, so that is awesome! It is great to see Corporate America continuing their philanthropic efforts and participating in this “new” event to help non-profit organizations.

With the donations we receive at the end of the year, and all year long, you can be sure we are using these contributions to help so many people with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and stroke to live more independently, live a higher quality of life and participate in their communities. While clients do pay for their workouts, even those fees are not enough to cover our operating expenses. We pride ourselves on operating as efficiently as possible to keep all costs reasonable and scrutinize every expense, including administrative salaries. When you support Push to Walk, you are directly helping our clients, investing in their futures. If you’d like to make a donation, click here.

Thank you, and enjoy the weekend!  Cynthia

Read Full Post »

You know that saying, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” well I am embarking on another journey – another half marathon! I am joining Team Push to Walk in the Long Branch Half Marathon on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Join me on “Templeton’s Team – Push to Run” and help me raise awareness and funds for Push to Walk!

I will be running each of the 13.1 miles for someone with a spinal cord injury, brain injury or MS. If you would like to join my team in either person or spirit, and help even more people, please let me know! As soon as I have my site up to organize everything online, I will put out the info.

WHO’S IN????

Cynthia

Read Full Post »

I’ve just posted a new topic on Push to Walk’s Family Corner section of our website (click here) that talks about resuming activities and starting new ones after a spinal cord injury. Now that it’s been 10 years since Darren’s injury, he has tried a lot of different things. Some sports and activities had to be modified from how he did them prior to his injury; others were brand new to him. He’s liked some – skiing and wheelchair rugby, for example; and not others (at least not so much) – tennis for one. But he tries new and different things, and that is the important part.

I know I tend to stay in my “comfort zone” when it comes to physical activities and challenges. Setting a goal of completing half and full marathons was difficult on many levels, but not what you would call a risk. At least my feet were touching the ground! Leaving that comfort zone to try new things can be scary. Trying adaptive sports that require modified equipment, helpers, lots of extra time and patience is not always easy – either physically or mentally. But those that do try sometimes find a new outlet for energy, competitiveness, camaraderie and socialization.

I hope you’ll read my website section and maybe you’ll want to try something new or encourage a loved one to do something new – whether it’s sports, art, yoga, or skydiving! Whatever you do, have fun out there!

Cynthia

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Here’s the second installation (which includes parts 2 and 3 from the Social Security Administration blogger) of Social Security Benefits information that I hope you find helpful:

Step 2: Medical Qualification

 In addition to meeting the income and work-related requirements explained above, all applicants will have to meet certain medical requirements. These medical requirements are listed in the SSA’s guide of qualifying conditions, known as the Blue Book.  The Blue Book is broken into many different sections—each pertaining to a specific condition or group of conditions.

Spinal cord injuries are listed under section 1.04—Disorders of the Spine. The requirements of this listing are as follows:  Applicants must have an injury that causes compromise of a nerve root with:

  • Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by pain, limited motion of the spine, motor loss, and sensory or reflex loss; OR
  • Spinal arachnoiditis confirmed using appropriate medical records; OR
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis.

It is important that you review this listing in its entirety. If you do not understand the terminology used, it may be in your best interest to schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to explain the criteria to you and can perform the tests necessary to prove your eligibility. If you do not meet this listing, you may be eligible for disability benefits under a medical vocational allowance. This means that the SSA will evaluate your functional abilities, your previous job training, and your age to determine whether or not you are capable of holding a job. If they determine that you cannot work, it is likely that your application for disability benefits will be approved.

Step 3: Preparing for the Application

You will need to prepare by for the application process by collecting the necessary medical and financial records to prove your eligibility. Without this information your claim may potentially be delayed or even denied. Medical records should include:

  • Documentation of your diagnosis
  • A history of hospitalizations and treatments
  • Medical images- X-ray, CT, MRI
  • Surgical reports
  • Written statements from any treating physicians

Non-medical documentation will include forms of identification, financial information, and employment records. To view a complete list of non-medical requirements, visit the SSA’s Adult Disability Interview Checklist.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »