This is where the staff of the Reeve Foundation is sharing up-to-the-minute information and putting some context around the news affecting the spinal cord injury and paralysis community. Not to mention insight into what's going on here at the Foundation.
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Courageous, persistent, patient.
These are the words Stuart Lefkowits uses to describe his late son, Bob, who passed away two summers ago. And after hearing Bob’s story, it isn’t hard to see why.
Bob was an adventurer in the truest sense. During his career as a marketing entrepreneur, he helped develop and launch a number of successful telecommunications start-ups in Silicon Valley. An avid pilot, scuba diver, and mountaineer, Bob never let anything limit his ability to experience a full life, not even his paralysis.
In 2006, at a family reunion in the Outer Banks, an unexpected wave took Bob as he was body surfing and left him paralyzed from the neck down. After a difficult recovery at Craig Hospital in Denver, his spirit unwavering, Bob set out to overcome his greatest challenge yet.
Bob was determined to make life as fulfilling as possible. He could continue to navigate his computer freely using Dragon voice-recognition software and a device called an Eyemouse that registered where he was looking on the screen. He was also able to independently power his wheelchair through his breathing, so he could move freely in and out of the house. In the face of a man who had conquered land, air and sea, spinal cord injury was indeed a “new normal,” and not an easy one. With the constant support of his loyal and loving wife, Connie, Bob enjoyed his two grandchildren, maintained his connections to family and friends, and even continued to consult on his latest start-up venture, leaving it well on its way to becoming a reality when he died from complications of his injury in 2011. He dealt with his final challenge in life the way he dealt with all of them – with determination and grace.
The Reeve Foundation is truly grateful to Bob’s family and friends who first made contributions in his memory and then again in honor of Stuart’s 90th birthday. In the spirit of Bob’s courage and perseverance, the Reeve Foundation and its community members will continue to pursue in our mission to provide Today’s Care and Tomorrow’s Cure.
- Tom Mohoney
Reeve Foundation Volunteer
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