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Fun, fitness reign at Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp

Charles McDonald first attended Mary Free Bed Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp in 2002 as a camper. This year, he served as an instructor. More than 50 campers with disabilities participated in the July 25-29 camp at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. The free event offers kids of all ability levels and ages the opportunity…
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Nurse Anna-Marie Lipka honored as ‘Everyday Hero’ for saving man’s life

Anna-Marie Lipka says she was just doing her job. Kara George is thankful she was. Kara’s husband, Andy, was driving east on Int. 96 in Ionia County the evening of Dec. 1 when he lost consciousness. Anna-Marie, a registered nurse at Mary Free Bed, was traveling behind him with her husband, Ben, when she noticed…
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Mary Free Bed YMCA a global first for accessibility

Thursday, December 3, marked the start of an exciting new chapter in accessibility and opportunity. The West Michigan community — including many representatives from Mary Free Bed — came together to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the much-anticipated Mary Free Bed YMCA. This first-of-its-kind Y is the first health and wellness facility in the world to…
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Kids enjoy success, teamwork at Mary Free Bed Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp

Campers, parents, staff and volunteers on Friday afternoon celebrated the conclusion to another successful Mary Free Bed Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp. The free annual weeklong event, hosted at Grand Valley State University, offers kids of all ability levels and ages the opportunity to participate in 10 adaptive sports, ranging from kayaking and disc golf, to sled…
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Teens raise money for limb difference program

Recent Hudsonville High School graduate Bailey Gulch was all smiles when she handed a white envelope to Mary Free Bed Annual Fund Director Jocelyn Dettloff. It contained checks totaling $1,000, all made payable to Mary Free Bed. During her last semester of high school, 17-year-old Bailey spearheaded a fundraiser to help with the cost of…
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2015 Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championships recap

Guest blog by Erin Fouty, Tournament Director of the 2015 Midwest Wheelchair Championships, and Alicia Hass, Coordinator, Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports The beautiful facilities at MVP-Crahen were once again host to the Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championships held July 10-12, 2015. Nearly 80 athletes from around the world traveled to Grand Rapids, Mich., to participate in all…
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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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Taking on tennis after a 20-year break

As a teenager, Steve Draft-Peppin played wheelchair tennis at Riverview Athletic Club in Grand Rapids. And he was pretty good, finishing at or near the top in his singles and doubles divisions in 1992. But a few years later, Steve left wheelchair tennis behind in favor of other pursuits. Then there was college and career…
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More than 60 years later, vintage photo leads former patient to revisit Mary Free Bed

An online gallery of vintage photos sparked a reunion of sorts for Mary Free Bed alumna Mary Jane Millard. Mary Jane, 70, was diagnosed with polio as a child and received rehabilitation twice at Mary Free Bed’s former Cherry Street facility. On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Mary Jane toured the hospital’s new state-of-the-art building on Wealthy Street and visited…
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