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Mary Free Bed Patient first in Michigan to receive Kickstart Walking System


Eric Miller
Photojournalist, Mary Free Bed

Chie Kawahara
VP Product Management, Cadence Biomedical

Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 19, 2013 – Mary Free Bed patient Lisa Curtis of Portage, Michigan will literally be putting the ‘spring back in her step’ when she becomes the first person in the state to receive Seattle-based Cadence Biomedical’s new Kickstart Walking System. The session is set for 10:30am this Friday, July 19th at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Lisa was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. In 2010, she received chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “Many of my symptoms were addressed as a result, but walking was still an issue,” Lisa says. For the past year, Lisa has been engaged in outpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed, and when she recently had the opportunity to be fitted for a trial version of Kickstart, she says, “I was amazed…I knew that this was it!”

Kickstart has only been available since late 2012 and is helping patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or partial spinal cord injuries to walk again and regain an independent life. It’s unique in that it helps to lift and swing the leg for each step a person takes, but doesn't use any batteries or electronics - it's instead powered by a spring that recycles energy to the legs, helping to retrain a natural and normal gait.

Media is invited to attend Lisa’s session – photo opportunities and interviews will be made available. For more information about Kickstart, check out these recent stories:

In addition, here are some recent photos of Kickstart users: https://cadencebio.box.com/s/mavq40tmu6eucg2gxtyq

About Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, acute care rehabilitation hospital. For more than 120 years, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has served the needs of Michigan children and adults - restoring hope and freedom through rehabilitation. The scope of rehabilitation services on the Mary Free Bed campus is not found anywhere else in Michigan: 80 acute care inpatient beds, extensive outpatient programs, as well as home and community services. The combination of comprehensive services and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enable specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical outcomes. For additional information, visit www.maryfreebed.com or call 800.528.8989.

About the Mary Free Bed Network

This consortium of collaborative organizations extends the availability of specialized rehabilitation services across Michigan. In addition to an alliance with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network includes hospitals, a freestanding rehabilitation center and retirement communities.

© 2015 Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital., Grand Rapids, MI | 1.855.MFB.REHAB
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