We believe in empowering those affected by paralysis with the best knowledge, resources, support, and community.
This Making a Difference
blog is all about how we here at the Reeve Foundation make a difference in the lives of those living with paralysis. Our NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Program helped one person so much, he decided to get a tattoo of our logo to represent just how grateful he is to be able to walk again from being part of the NRN. Read More
Every now and then I see stories in the local news about previous Quality of Life grantees and what they are doing now. Just recently, Young Dance in Minneapolis, Minnesota was featured on their local CBS news for the work they are doing. They received an $8,000 Quality of Life grant to support one of their programs for young wheelchair dancers. Read about it here
and watch the video
Another story that made news around our offices Quality of Life grants recipient Living Independently for Everyone (LIFE)
in Mississippi. LIFE is a wonderful organization who has received two grants from us. The most recent one in 2009 for an AmeriCorps project they sponsored, LINC (Linking Individuals into Neighborhoods and Communities)
which assists individuals living with disabilities as they move from institutional settings, such as nursing homes, back into communities.
An earlier grant was awarded to LIFE in 2007 to replenish much of the medical and equipment supplies that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
What I found from speaking with LIFE was more than just how much the Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants helped the organization, but by how much the individuals living with disabilities within LIFE were able to bond together.
"It [LINC] turned out to be the best thing in the world," says Dunaway. "It brings younger people and middle-aged people on board who have disabilities, and they are giving back to community. They are learning how to work as a team, learning skills they didn't have before hand, learning to work in an office environment. They leave us after a year or two, and have a whole wealth of skills they may not have had before."
Lawrence doesn't believe he would be as independent and healthy if it weren't for his experience with LINC. "It has given me the confidence to carry on with my life, which otherwise I believe would not be as good as it is now."
Learn more about LIFE of Mississippi and the Reeve Foundation's Quality of Life Grants program.
There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing the work you do come to life. That is exactly what happened with Tony Malloy. Tony was spinal cord injured at the C5, C6 level in a snowboarding accident in January of 2010. In summer of 2010 he became a patient at one of the Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) centers.
The NRN is a cooperative network of cutting-edge rehabilitation centers designed to provide and develop therapies to promote functional recovery and improve the health and quality of life of people living with paralysis. Click here to learn more about the NRN.
I was able to visit Tony at the NRN during one of his therapy sessions at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey. Just being there seeing him in action, seeing his therapists push and pull his legs as he was suspended over a treadmill, seeing the determination everyone had was truly inspiring. I was witnessing Tony re-learn how to walk.
One of Tony’s physical therapists, Jared Milligan had said, "I've definitely seen a lot of change in Tony since joining the NRN. He's gotten so much stronger. From the first day he's been here, as of now, it's been leaps and bounds. If he keeps working, he's going to keep improving, and that's what we like to see. He has a good attitude toward it and he's focused. The focus is not on the past, he is looking ahead. He wants to get where he needs to be, and he will if he keeps doing it the right way."
To not only be able to write Tony’s story but to meet the person behind the story made it that much better.