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

Grand Rapids, Mich. – 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 19 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.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital – Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, acute-care rehabilitation hospital. For more than 120 years, we have served the needs of 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 and home-based services. The combination of comprehensive services and our exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical results for patients. For additional information, visit www.maryfreebed.com.

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