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Mary Free Bed Guild Proud to Support Wheelchair and Handcyclists

  The Mary Free Bed Guild was a proud sponsor of the 36th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run’s Wheelchair and Handcycle Divisions. This year, 29 handcyclists and 13 wheelchair racers competed in front of an estimated 38,000-plus spectators. View this video to view highlights of the race.

Former Mary Free Bed SCI Patient Trains for 5/3 Riverbank Run – Part 3

In April 2000, David Briggs was in a motorcycle accident which resulted in a severed spine. David was introduced to many recreational therapy activities during his 3 1/2 month stay at Mary Free Bed, including handcycling – a sport he actively enjoys.This year, David will compete in the handcycling division of the 2013 River Bank…
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Maria Besta: Passionate about the abilities of people with disabilities

This week we’re shining the spotlight on Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program manager, Maria Besta. Maria was recognized as a YWCA Tribute Award winner for her extraordinary efforts to strengthen our community. For those of you who have the privilege of knowing Maria, or working with Maria, you understand how truly deserved this honor is. Below…
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More Than Athletes Born at Mary Free Bed Jr. Sports Camp

Not only are athletes born at the Mary Free Bed Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp, but so are friendships. Kids of all ages and disabilities come together for a week to take part in everything from wheelchair basketball and tennis to handcycling to kayaking. Campers aren’t just introduced to sports, they also connect with each other….
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Mary Free Bed Sponsors 2012 Midwest Wheelchair Championship

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital proudly hosted 70 top wheelchair tennis players from the United States and Canada for the 2012 Midwest Wheelchair Championship, on July 12-15. Nationally and internationally ranked athletes played for a purse of $11,500 during the four-day competition, including four paralympians. This event also marked the announcement that the Grand Rapids…
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Former Mary Free Bed patients to compete in Fifth Third River Bank Run

On Saturday, May 12, 2012, thousands will come together to make history in the Fifth Third River Bank Run in downtown Grand Rapids. This year’s event celebrates the River Bank Run’s 35th race, and will involve more than 21,000 athletes – including those who compete from wheelchairs and handcycles – in the largest 25k race…
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Dreams, triumphs and rugby: Colin Sullivan lives life to the fullest

For Colin Sullivan, a life-long resident of West Michigan, December 19, 1999, will always be remembered as the day in which his life changed forever. Early that morning, around 5 am, Colin drove from East Lansing to his home in Grand Rapids, an 80-mile journey he had taken countless times in the past as a…
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Athlete returns to competition after spinal cord injury

by Beth Redford After a few days, I have recovered from playing in the recent Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association (GRWSA) Tennis Fundraising Tournament at Ramblewood in Grand Rapids. The weekend started with picking up 3 cases of tennis balls for tournament director and wheelchair tennis head coach, Lynn Bender, and delivering them to Ramblewood. After…
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Cancer survivor plays wheelchair tennis against able-bodied competitors

by Kate Snider Jess Sporte, 23, lost her leg to cancer when she was just 4 months old. Jess uses crutches for short distances and a wheelchair for longer distances. She received outpatient care from the Center for Limb Differences at Mary Free Bed until she was 21 years old. Growing up, Jess watched from the sidelines as…
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Patient helps other amputees by starting support group

by Kate Snider In July 2002, Dennis Vandereist’s car was struck by another vehicle, hit a fire hydrant and rolled. Dennis, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle, his left leg was pinned between the driver’s door and the ground. Dennis was taken to Holland Hospital, then flown to Spectrum Health where doctors tried…
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