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Horseback riding accident leaves competitor with spinal cord injury

Dr. Alice Gale has always been active. Last year, if she wasn’t at her dermatology practice, she was outside running, riding her bike or maybe at the gym. For as long as she can remember, she’s ridden horses, and for the past 20 years, she’s jumped horses competitively. Last February, Alice was in Florida for…
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“I have my freedom.”

“I would not be walking today had it not been for Mary Free Bed,” says patient Mary Fran Menge of L’Anse, Mich. In 2009, Mary was in an automobile accident that left her with a severe spinal cord injury. With the help of robotic-assisted therapy and a lot of determination, Mary is now able to…
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Told he’d never walk again, Bob is back on his feet

For the second time that winter, Bob Dykstra and his friends jumped on their snowmobiles and shot into the woods. Always a fan of snow sports, Bob was eager to tear up the powder. They approached a hill that they’d gone over hundreds of times before. Bob flew over the pinnacle and instead of landing…
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Man walks again after sustaining spinal cord damage from aortic aneurysm

Many of us have heard these kinds of motivational statements before. But when you experience a life changing event, these words take on a whole new meaning. Randy Ribble, 64, was enjoying an ordinary evening in May when it took an unfortunate turn. “I was settling in for the night, and of all of sudden…
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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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Restoring hope, sharing beauty

Often the road to hope and recovery is a maze with twists and turns that move forward then backward. Vern Criner has been navigating his maze for 4 years. Vern has suffered setbacks, surgeries and despair. But, his times at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have provided steps forward toward hope. Vern was a florist…
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Spinal Cord Injury Patient Gets Back on the Road

After suffering a spinal cord injury from a snowmobile accident, Dan Bolhouse closed the door to negativity. Dan had been snowmobiling since he was a child. While on a trip with his buddies in 1999, he took an unexpected sharp turn too fast and crashed straight into a tree. He devastatingly injured the T7 vertebrae…
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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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