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Posts Tagged ‘spinal cord injury cure’

For the past few years, as our schedules have wound down and our weekends are not spent on our children’s athletic events and other activities, I have found myself watching more football games than ever before. Sundays have become more relaxing, and I enjoy watching either the Jets or Giants (no boo’s please!). Even though I sometimes question how the game is played and the number of injuries sustained, I do like to watch.

Since this week is leading up to the Super Bowl, I was curious about the sports reports I hear detailing various activities for the week. So I went online to check them out: Media Day, Legends for Charity Dinner, Super Bowl Breakfast, Luncheons and a Super Saturday of Service. Wow, it almost seems like THE GAME is lost in all of the other events!

But this got me thinking about such a BIG event. When the Super Bowl comes to New Jersey – YES, NEW JERSEY, not New York one year from now in 2014, wouldn’t it be great if the focus of all these “extras” could highlight the need for care, treatment, cure and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and paralysis from neurological conditions like MS, brain injuries and strokes?? Wouldn’t that be SUPER cool??? Come on, people, how do we make this happen??

New Jersey is home to the Jets AND the Giants and their passionate fans; Dr. Wise Young, a prominent international researcher for SCI cure is based at Rutgers University; Kessler Institute, a Model SCI Center, in West Orange;  Kessler Foundation who focuses on employment opportunities for people with disabilities (and so much more!); The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which provides comprehensive resources & funding for everything related to SCI and paralysis, and of course, yours truly – Push to Walk!

Together, I think we should all get on board and petition the NFL to consider SCI and paralysis a major focal point for the 2014 Super Bowl. Anyone in???

Game on! Enjoy the excitement! Cynthia

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Thanks to the entire group at Unite 2 Fight Paralysis headed up by Marilyn Smith and the Working 2 Walk conference that was held in Irvine, California at the beginning of November. Our Push to Walk trainer, Tommy Sutor, attended the conference and was very excited to hear about the research that is going on from many different scientists. He came back with a ton of information to share, and has been telling us what he learned. So many exciting things going on!

One of the most important areas of the conference involved advocacy  and how people with spinal cord injuries need to join together and fight for a cure. While the areas of maintaining and improving health and wellness are important (very important, in my opinion if people want to be ready for a cure), the focus seemed to be on making advocating for a cure a priority now more than ever. Several people spoke about the current efforts and what individuals can do to contribute to the cause. As with most areas of concern, banding together and working in a unified group is sure to have more positive results than working separately and independently.

Please check the following links to learn more about what went on at the Working 2 Walk conference. Sorry I couldn’t be there this year – Hurricane Sandy derailed my plans (along with many others I am sure), but I look forward to attending next year in Boston. And since it will be back on the east coast, I look forward to more staff members attending as well. Thank you, Marilyn, for your hard work!

Check these links for more info:

http://working2walk2012.wordpress.com/2012/

http://www.u2fp.org/

Cynthia

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Hello Everyone!

I am very excited that our Push to Walk trainer Tommy, my daughter Arianne (newly graduated as a DPT – Doctorate of Physical Therapy) and I will be attending this year’s Working 2 Walk conference in Irvine, CA. Marilyn Smith and the Unite 2 Fight Paralysis team does an awesome job of bringing together the best and brightest in the field of spinal cord injury research to update consumers and professionals on the current status of progress being made.

I attended the two previous conferences in Phoenix and Maryland, and am very happy to be going again this year. In addition to hearing speakers that include Jerry Silver, Frank Reynolds and Dr. Oswald Steward, I love connecting with friends around the country and meeting new friends, all of whom are involved in the SCI community.

The conference will conclude with a tour of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is sure to be exciting and informative! Tommy is especially interested in all things related to research and SCI, so this is sure to be a highlight of the trip.

Check out the website for the conference (www.working2walk.org), and follow the Care Cure posts that usually keep track of all the conference happenings (http://sci.rutgers.edu). I’ll give you a summary when we return.

Cynthia

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Governor Chris Christie has proclaimed September 2012 to be Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in New Jersey. This is very exciting! After more than 18 months of work, writing letters, making phone calls and sending e-mails, an Official Proclamation has been signed and received by Push to Walk. With a group of supporters that include Kessler Institute, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Dr. Wise Young and Dr. Patricia Morton of Rutgers, United Spinal Association, National Spinal Cord Injury Association and Disability Rights New Jersey, the Governor’s Office responded positively to our request.  It is now official, and will hopefully be renewed each year.

The official proclamation states that “through public awareness and education, the State of New Jersey seeks to minimize the devastating effects of spinal cord injuries among our residents,” and that “increased focus and investments in treatments, research, advocacy and awareness are key factors in improving outcomes and the quality of life for individuals living with spinal cord injuries.” It is now up to us, collectively, to determine how to maximize the positive impact this could have on the SCI population of our state, and use this recognition for the benefit of all. Please help us spread the word to your friends and family, on Facebook, e-mails blasts, etc.

We have a link to the Proclamation on our website homepage – please check it out: http://www.pushtowalknj.org.

Thank you to all those individuals and organizations who helped us get this recognition, and to Governor Christie for his support.

Now let’s do something to celebrate! Any ideas???

Cynthia

 

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Boyd Melson, representing Team Fight to Walk, will be boxing at Roseland Ballroom on Thursday, August 2. Boyd donates 100% of all winnings in the ring to Dr. Wise Young who is working tirelessly to bring clinical trials for spinal cord injuries to the U.S. You can order tickets for the fight here: www.teamfighttowalk.com. Come out and support a true champion for SCI, one who is literally fighting for all those with spinal cord injuries.

In support of Dr. Wise Young’s work, a few videos have been released by Boyd and his Team Fight to Walk Co-Founder, Christan Zaccagnino. Check them out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSS7fuJa61U&feature=youtube_gdata_player and also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HeuxO6VJFY&feature=relmfu. These relay their message much better than I ever could!

Support Boyd, support Just a Dollar Please (www.justadollarplease.org) and support the quest for a cure for spinal cord injuries! We ARE all in this together!

Cynthia

 

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Hi Everyone,

Here we are mid-week already for our week-long Summer Camp, and I feel like we’re just getting started! Our campers are enjoying activities with current clients, former clients, prospective clients, families and friends! I always like seeing when our events officially “end,” and people are talking to one another, sharing stories, showing others their accessible vehicles, and just hanging out. This, to me, is PRICELESS and exactly what I hoped our camp would accomplish.

Please check our Facebook page for recent news, pictures and videos:   https://www.facebook.com/PushtoWalk

Our campers tell me they are loving their workouts, and while they are tired afterwards, they are energized and excited about what they are doing! Hopefully this week will help each person reach new goals and strive for more!

We are so grateful for all the support and donations we have received so far to help make our Summer Camp a success! For starters, thanks to Scott Chesney (www.scottchesney.com) and Curly’s Ice Cream in Riverdale for a great Ice Cream Social on Sunday. Thanks to Laurie Kammer and David McCauley (www.riseupgallery.com) and the Riverdale Art Center (www.riverdaleartcenter.org) for teaming up to host a wonderful Art Workshop on Monday night. Thanks also to Steve and Laurie Colella (Colella’s Pizza, Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ) for donating a delicious lunch on Tuesday that provided food for clients, guests and even the rugby players Tuesday night! Speaking of rugby, the NY Warriors Quad Rugby Team put on a fun exhibition at the Wayne YMCA. Campers and clients (even staff!) had a great time playing and learning about the game. Several of the rugby players traveled quite a distance, and we really appreciate their interest in being part of our camp activities.

Check our website for details on events still to come: Trivia Night at Hooters in Wayne tonight (Wednesday), a Push to Walk Open House and Dr. Wise Young’s Open House at Rutgers on Thursday, Pizza and Music Night Friday night, and capping off the week with Adaptive Sports Day and a second presentation by Scott Chesney on Saturday. http://www.pushtowalknj.org/document/description-of-activities.pdf.

Hope to see you at one of our events! Cynthia

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The entire staff here at Push to Walk has been working really hard to make next week’s Summer Camp a great experience for clients, campers, family members and friends. There are SO many fun and interesting events planned; there truly is something for everyone!

Sunday, July 15 kicks off the week with an Ice Cream Social at the Riverdale Senior Community Center at 4 pm with Guest Speaker Scott Chesney. This is a great opportunity to meet Scott and listen to what I know will be an awesome presentation. Please join us!

Our daily schedule for client workouts is very busy, and we are excited to have some former clients returning and a few new people joining our current clients.

Afternoon/evening activities include an Art Workshop, Quad Rugby Demonstration, Trivia Night, Open House with Dr. Wise Young at Rutgers, a Music & Pizza Night, and an Adaptive Sports Day on Saturday to cap off the week. Scott Chesney will also be speaking at 6 pm on Saturday, June 21 at Central Park of Morris County.

During the week, we are hosting 2 Open Houses: Tuesday, July 17 from 9:30-5 pm and Thursday, July 19 from 9:30-3:30 pm. If you’ve never been to Push to Walk, or haven’t visited in awhile, please stop by! In addition to seeing equipment demos, we’ll have an MV-1 car (the only auto built from the ground up to be accessible), hand cycles, sno-cones and more!

All are invited: doctors, physical therapists, prospective clients, neighbors, friends, and any one else interested or curious about what we do!

This is our chance to show people who we are and how we help people with spinal cord injuries strengthen themselves, lead productive lives and increase the quality of their lives each and every day. We do this with YOUR support, so THANK YOU!!!

Here’s the link to our website to see detailed information on Summer Camp week:    http://www.pushtowalknj.org/summer-camp.html. Scroll down to Event Flyers or Event Information, and you can click on the particular links below those categories. Or you can call us at 862-200-5848 or email Stephanie at slajam@pushtowalknj.org. We are asking for RSVP’s for certain events, so please let us know if you’ll be attending.

Hope to see you at Summer Camp July 15-21!!!

Cynthia

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Congratulations to all of our Team Push to Walk members for their participation in this past weekend’s Half and Full Marathon in Long Branch, NJ. They did awesome!! Every member of the Team committed to complete the distance and raise funds for Push to Walk and Dr. Wise Young’s SCI Clinical Trials for a Cure. Our preliminary amount raised was almost $28,000, but we still have to tally the final figures.

Thank you to all 22 people who ran or rode their hand cycles to benefit Push to Walk. One of our clients, Celso, pictured here, was the FIRST person to break the finish line tape. It was his first event, and he is excited to pursue the sport further. When he becomes famous, we can say “it all started at Push to Walk…………” Ha ha!

Current and former clients, client family members and friends, and friends of Push to Walk all joined together for a common goal – to support Push to Walk and provide scholarship funds to people with spinal cord injuries who need our program but are unable to pay the full amount. Our scholarship fund will help offset the cost of the program for some who would not otherwise be able to come for exercise workouts. Financial barriers are often the main reason why people don’t come to Push to Walk, or stop coming after a period of time because their money runs out.

Our runners and riders committed themselves to our cause, and we are so thankful for their interest and dedication. Thank you!!!

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As part of Team Push to Walk, my son Darren will be riding his hand cycle in this Sunday’s NJ Marathon in Long Branch (May 6). He is one of 5 clients on the Team, and I have witnessed the transformation of some of them during their training. I am so proud of everyone! My husband & I have had the opportunity to ride several times with Darren as he trains. Each ride, I see him getting stronger and more prepared to go the distance. In between outdoor rides, he has been using a SCI-FIT hand bike either here at Push to Walk or at a gym near his apartment. After yesterday’s ride, I am confident in his ability to do the entire distance of 26.2 miles. I know he can do it!

What he found yesterday, though, was how important it is to be well fueled before the race! Just as a car needs enough gas to get from point A to point B, so does an athlete for an endurance event. Rest, food and hydration are all key components of a successful event. Fortunately, he experienced how he felt from not having enough to eat this week, and now be better prepared for next week. For all you athletes preparing for the big day – eat well and eat properly several days prior to the event. Better preparation will definitely pay off!

Thank you to all of our clients, and their families and friends who are participating on their behalf, as well as our Push to Walk staff and friends who are committed to our cause. So many people have dedicated their time and fund raising efforts on our behalf, and your support will enable us to offer Scholarship Funds to our clients and support Dr. Wise Young and his SCI clinical trials.

Have a great race, everyone! I’ll be there cheering you on!

Cynthia

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I can’t pass up this opportunity to wish my wonderful husband a VERY Happy Birthday! I hope it is a wonderful day!

We’ll be celebrating by having dinner at Havana Central in NYC, then going to BB King’s for Boyd Melson’s boxing match. This will be a tough fight for Boyd (8-0 now) but we are confident that his training and experience will help him win. Go, Boyd! We’ll be cheering you on!

Boyd is an extremely caring and compassionate person, donating ALL of his winnings to date to Dr. Wise Young and Clinical Trials for spinal cord injury. He is literally “fighting for a cure.” I’ll be sure to let you know in a future blog post how he did tonight. Or you can check his website: www.teamfighttowalk.com.

Enjoy the day, Cynthia

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