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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Wise Young’

Kunming China July 2014

Darren & I spent 5 days recently at the Kunming Tongren Hospital in Kunming, China to check out their “Walking Program.” The idea was to see what the program is all about, and meet the Doctors and other people participating in the program. Darren is between jobs at the moment (his own choice) and wants to dedicate a period of time to intensive exercise. After researching this option and speaking to Dr. Wise Young, he thought this was a viable idea for concentrating on rehab and exercise.

Dr. Young put us in touch with the Hospital and Emma, their English speaking coordinator (thank goodness for Emma’s assistance!) helped us make arrangements. From arranging to stay at the hospital for the week, getting transportation to and from the airport, providing documents for our Visas and more, Emma was a great help!

With great anticipation and months of planning, we left the US on Friday, July 25. With a slight delay in Beijing and arriving to find they have no transfer or aisle chair in the Kunming airport (ugh), and then a very interesting ambulance ride to the hospital, we arrived late on Saturday night. One of the other patient’s father, Eric, was anxious to meet us, and welcomed us to Kunming! Eric was able to give us a lot of helpful information that evening, and it was great to know someone (especially someone who spoke English!) right away.

While I have many stories and experiences to share about our 5 days in Kunming, I will stick to the Walking Program itself for this blogpost. I’ll write more in future posts, I promise!

Patients in the program go to the gym for 6 hours each day. It reminded me of traditional physical therapy here in the states, with therapists working with multiple patients at one time. I couldn’t really figure out a “schedule” of who did what and when, and with what trainer/therapist, but it seemed to flow rather seamlessly. The term “organized chaos” comes to mind, but it was not chaotic in any sense. Perhaps there was a plan that I didn’t know of. But no one seemed to know, or really mind, for that matter.  On their own, people were doing OT type of hand exercises for fine motor skills using pegs and boards, would use a Vitaglide machine or ride one of the MotoMed bikes. Mat exercises were sometimes done independently, or with an assistant, therapist or family member/caregiver. I also observed many patients receiving acupuncture throughout the day.

There were also people walking with the high walkers pictured here.

Kunming Tongren Hospital

Kunming Tongren Hospital

For some patients, this is the most labor intensive exercise, although there were some people walking on their own with just a family member following behind with the wheelchair. These independent walkers did a lot more walking than those needing multiple helpers.

The gym was set up in a U shaped design, overlooking the floor below and with ample windows and natural light. The walking area was very wide and had a smooth linoleum type floor. The walkers are very basic and a variety of hand grips, leg straps and knee braces are used. The actual amount of walking that a person does during the day varies, but seemed to be about 2 hours total, at the most, for anyone needing assistance. That was broken up into multiple sessions.

Granted, it is very labor intensive and demanding on the staff members to assist with walking the way they perform it. But we really thought more walking was taking place each day. According to some of the patients we met, it seems like more walking took place previously, but not lately due to decreased staffing. This was disappointing to us, as Darren was really looking for an intense walking program.

Our week in Kunming was enjoyable and informative. We were really glad we went to see for ourselves what the program actually is. We met some incredibly smart, friendly and entertaining people, which made the week fun. Thanks to David and Eric Wishart for providing us with delicious meals and entertainment during our visit! In summary, Darren feels he can set up a program at Push to Walk that gives him the benefits he is looking for. I will write more on that in the future, as well as some other stories and experiences from our trip. Stay tuned for details!

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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

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Hello Everyone,

I’ve written about Boyd Melson in prior posts, and we’ve shared his story in Facebook postings as well. In summary, Boyd is a professional boxer and donates all of his purse winnings to Just A Dollar Please in order to bring spinal cord injury clinical trials to the United States. Boyd’s best friend, Christan, is a long time Push to Walk client, and our relationship with him started many years ago.

Boyd’s next fight is coming up on Wednesday, December 4 at BB King’s in New York City. Again, he will donate his winnings to Dr. Wise Young and the clinical trials. You can buy tickets (if there’s any still available) at www.teamfighttowalk.com. But my blog today is really about Boyd coming to Push to Walk and working out with our clients. Under the program “The Mission Continues,” Boyd is working with Drs. Patricia Morton and Wise Young on a spinal cord injury exercise program and walking. When Boyd is at Push to Walk, he has his boxing gloves and gets the clients to throw punches, block punches and keep themselves upright. With his constant banter, encouragement, smile and laughter, he has these clients working HARD!

Here’s a video clip that says it all. Let’s just say I got as much enjoyment out of watching this taking place as I’m sure the participants had actually doing it. Only thing is, I’m not sore or tired afterwards. I only had to hold the camera! 🙂

Enjoy watching, and please support Boyd’s next fight and justadollarplease.org

Thank you! Cynthia

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It would seem only right that the Push to Walk staff and I spent the last few days of September at the Working 2 Walk Science and Advocacy Symposium in Boston this past weekend.

Marilyn Smith and her entire team at Unite 2 Fight Paralysis (U2FP) hosted an amazing event that brought together researchers, scientists, advocates, related professionals and people with SCI and their families to hear the latest information as related to finding a cure for SCI and how to advocate as a community.

While much of the science was over my head, I am excited and energized about all that is going on in the US and abroad to find a cure for SCI. Admittedly, I am also frustrated at just HOW LONG this stuff takes! But it is exciting to learn about new research and hear updates from those who have presented at previous conferences.

Travis Roy’s opening remarks on the second day of the symposium were open and honest, revealing personal details about his challenges from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning. While mostly familiar to me, I hope his comments opened up some other eyes and brought just a small dose of reality to those working for a cure in their labs and not necessarily knowledgeable about the intricate difficulties a person with SCI faces each and every day.

U2FP does an awesome job of not only pulling together this conference, but also spreading the information afterwards. While some or most might not be available yet, stay tuned to the following links for posted details:

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis

Care Cure Forums for Kate’s incredible live blogging

(I see Care Cure has recently updated their forums, so please be patient if you find any bugs or problems. I know Wise Young and other moderators are working hard on needed fixes. They are scientists and advocates, not IT experts. It might some time to iron out the new system.)

Travis Roy Foundation

Here’s to hoping research continues for SCI and even more people and funds are allocated to work on this area. I am thankful there are dedicated scientists and teams doing a lot of exciting work, and pray every day that a cure will be found………we must ALL work towards this goal, support the research and ADVOCATE for ourselves!

Cynthia

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Summer Boot Camp Week Progressing!

Happy Summer! Of course, now everyone is complaining about the heat, but it doesn’t seem so long ago that the complaints were about the cold and rain…………I hope you are enjoying the warm weather, and staying cool when needed!

Summer Camp started off on Sunday with a fun Ice Cream Social and guest speaker, our very own “Push Girl” Christan Zaccagnino. We are very grateful to Curly’s in Riverdale for donating their delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream for all to enjoy. I’d like to thank so many our staff members, clients, friends and family members for coming out!

Monday evening was devoted to art and yoga, and I’d like to thank Laurie Kammer and David McCauley from Rise Up Gallery for donating materials and providing inspiration for the art workshop, as well as Nancy Witters and Kula for Karma for providing a great yoga experience.

Our first Open House this week brought several vendors, visitors and prospective clients to Push to Walk on Tuesday. The place was busy! With demos of the Re-Walk, and the Standing Company wheelchair, we learned a lot about these products, and also had the Morph Wheel, Coloplast and Drivemaster here with samples and information. Lunch and sno-cones topped off the day!

A Wheelchair Rugby exhibition was held on Tuesday evening at the Wayne YMCA, and a few members from the Warriors Rugby Team demonstrated the game to clients and staff members. Many thanks to the YMCA for allowing us to use their gym!

Tonight, Wednesday, lots of people have already signed up to meet at Hooters in Wayne for Trivia Night. We have a large group, and last year was so much fun, I am looking forward to a great night tonight!

UPCOMING:

Thursday is our second Open House and will be held from 9:30 am – 3 pm. We’ll have more demos, including Matt Courson and the Restorative Therapies RT-200, an exciting new piece of “hybrid” equipment that combines an arm and leg workout in a seated elliptical machine.  Come and visit us! Invite others who might want to check us out!

On Thursday evening, we will be traveling to The W.M. Keck Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick to hear Dr. Wise Young speak about the SCI Clinical Trials and results coming from China, and his plans for U.S. clinical trials. Other speakers and vendors will be present as well. Tours of the Lab start at 5 pm and the presentations start at 6 pm. Please call or e-mail Stephanie for more info: 862-200-5848 or slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

Join us for a Sled Hockey demonstration put on by the New Jersey Freeze at Floyd Hall Arena from 10:30 am until 12 noon.  The Arena is located on the campus of Montclair University and their GPS address is 28 Clove Road, Little Falls, NJ.

While we are all busy enjoying the Summer Camp activities, I’d like to recognize Stephanie Lajam, our Communications and Special Events Coordinator for doing an OUTSTANDING job of arranging the week’s events. She has secured lunch donations for the whole week, scheduled many vendors, and worked out all venue details. THANK YOU, Stephanie, for all of your hard work!! Thanks also to our staff members for participating in so many activities, especially after putting in long days and many hours of training. A special shout out to Tommy Sutor, our Program Director, for managing the client schedules this week.

Thanks to our clients and family members for joining us; I hope everyone has enjoyed the week so far!

REMINDER – We do have Macy’s 25% coupons for sale for $5.00 each, good at any Macy’s store on Saturday, August 24. Buy some today!!! Share with family, friends and co-workers!!

Thanks for reading! Cynthia

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Our Own “Push Girl” will be on HBO Real Sports! Thanks to Christan Zaccagnino, and her willingness to share even the most intimate of details about her life, her relationships and her challenges, spinal cord injury is getting some well-deserved media attention from someone who is living a very full life. I am sure Christan’s story will make you laugh and make you cry, and will hopefully provide a spark for the bundle of dynamite needed to set off interest and funding for clinical trials for SCI in the U.S.

As many of you know, we follow Boyd Melson, a professional boxer who donates all of his winnings in the ring to Dr. Wise Young and the quest to bring clinical trials from China to the US. Boyd’s best friend, Christan Zaccagnino is a Push to Walk client, and she has worked tirelessly for many years to bring SCI into the media and the forefront of people’s consciousness. One HUGE step forward for Christan and Boyd (and the entire SCI community) is the filming of an HBO Real Sports segment which will be aired tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16, at 10 pm.

Set your DVR’s NOW!

To read a short clip about their story, click on this link: http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/index.html.

I’d love to hear your comments after watching! Let me know what you think!

Cynthia

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This past Wednesday, doctors, researchers and scientists came together in Albany, New York to discuss “Progress in Spinal Cord Injury Research – The NYS Program: Past and Future.” I was not able to attend, so if anyone reading this did, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Also, if you know of a link to any information on the event, please let me know.

Many Push to Walk clients travel to our Riverdale, NJ center from all parts of New York: New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the lower Hudson Valley area. For a time, we even had a client traveling all the way from Albany once every two weeks! So we are very interested in what goes on in New York, and try to stay abreast of any developments.

From what I understand, the purpose of the conference was to present current information on research and treatments, while trying to convince the NY legislators to reinstate the funding stream for research through the traffic ticket and moving violations surcharges. While 70 million dollars had been used for this purpose from 1998-2009, that ended when those funds were diverted to unrelated purposes.

We support the reinstatement of these funds and hope that the symposium and press conference were an effective way to make this happen. Congratulations to everyone involved in the effort, and please let us know if Push to Walk can help in any way.

Cynthia

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