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Marcus’ message of determination: ‘Whatever you want to be, you can be it’

Congrats are in order for Marcus Fairfield and Liz Lauer! This week, the new parents welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family. A rollover accident in April left Marcus with a paralyzing spinal cord injury. He graduated this fall from Mary Free Bed after months of intensive inpatient rehabilitation where he focused on maximizing his strength,…
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Chaffee brothers face challenges, celebrate triumphs together

UPDATE: Good Housekeeping published a story about the Chaffee brothers’ journey on Nov. 20, 2015. Click here to read the story. Brothers Adam and Matt Chaffee stick together through thick and thin. That support system and brotherly bond will be crucial as the two adjust to a new life in the coming months. Twenty-three-year-old Adam…
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Hunting safety tips for an injury-free 2015 season

This weekend marks the beginning of Michigan’s regular firearm season for deer (Nov. 15-30, 2015). Hunting is an important tradition for many Michigan families. With proper safety precautions in place, hunting can be a safe and rewarding recreational activity. Hunting safety is a topic of great concern at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Each fall and winter, the…
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Educational opportunities abound at 2015 SCI Symposium

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital was pleased to welcome 160 guests to the 2015 SCI Symposium held Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. The event, “Living | Loving,” covered a wide range of topics and drew a diverse audience. “As leaders in rehabilitation, it’s important for us…
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Cancer + Wellness series: Episodes 16 & 17 – Yoga for cancer patients and survivors

Need to unwind and relax? Looking for ways to holistically cope with stress and tension? Interested in learning more about yoga for cancer patients and survivors? Michele Fife, an instructor with Mary Free Bed’s Cancer + Wellness program, offers this free, 60-minute yoga practice. You also may benefit from a refresher on breathing techniques, which Michele…
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Bissell’s Howl-O-Ween boosts pediatric & pet therapy programs

Sometimes, a wagging tail is just the motivation a patient needs to push through an intensive therapy session. That’s where “pet recreation professionals” like Walter and Charlie come into play. The two friendly (and hard-working) dogs are part of the animal-assisted therapy program at Mary Free Bed. Penny Richards, an occupational therapist at Mary Free…
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Marty makes strides – and plenty of friends – at Mary Free Bed at Sparrow

It’s been a long road to recovery for Marty McDougall, who, for more than year, has been coping with the effects of a fall she sustained in May 2014. Every day, with help from her team at Mary Free Bed at Sparrow, Marty is improving her mobility and strength. She says she “clicked” immediately with her…
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Ryan Podvin continues to thrive at Mary Free Bed as an employee after diving accident

Summer is a time for fun and recreation, but it’s also known as trauma season. Unfortunately, accidents can occur during every day, familiar activities, like swimming, diving and playing sports. Ryan Podvin, an experienced swimmer, suffered a spinal cord injury after barely nicking his chin in a diving accident in Lake Michigan. Five years later…
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Mary Free Bed alum finds inspiration 12,000 feet above ground

Buddy Gargus, 50, has long been an adrenaline junkie. A paralyzing spinal cord injury, sustained in a July 2010 diving accident, didn’t diminish his bold spirit. Post-accident, Buddy spent two months in rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed where he focused on maximizing his strength and mobility. “Mary Free Bed for me was a wonderful experience,” Buddy…
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‘Music is medicine’ at mini music fest for patients [Video]

Creativity, teamwork and initiative recently helped a music-loving patient experience a bit of the summer festival life she’s been missing while at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. When Physical Therapy Assistant Diane Capen discovered that inpatient Angelique Scott was bummed about not being able to attend live musical performances this summer, Diane asked her daughter…
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