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Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation gives $10,000 to Mary Free Bed

Grant adds bike to fleet, creates state’s only off-road adaptive handcycle program GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has received a $10,000 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to help people with disabilities go places that, until now, have been inaccessible. The grant was used to purchase an…
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2017 Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championships attract top players

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Top-ranked wheelchair tennis players from around the world will compete July 7-9 in the 2017 Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Grand Rapids. The outdoor tournament, an International Tennis Federation 3/United States Tennis Association Category II event, is presented by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program. More than…
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Paralympians among elite athletes set to compete in River Bank Run

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Three-time Paralympian and World Champion Oksana Masters (top image) and three-time Paralympian Aaron Pike (bottom image) will return to Grand Rapids this week to defend their titles in the Fifth Third River Bank Run. Masters will race in the women’s handcycle division and Pike in the wheelchair racing division. The elite…
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Bikes for the Rest of Us draws dozens of participants, volunteers

More than 75 children and adults with physical disabilities were introduced to adaptive bicycling during Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s annual Bikes for the Rest of Us event on Saturday. Each participant was paired with a therapist to determine the necessary adaptations that will enable them to pedal alongside their able-bodied friends. “This event helps…
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Grand Rapids Sled Wings capture national championship

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Sled Wings clinched its first sled hockey national championship during the 2017 USA Hockey Disabled Festival April 6-9 in San Jose, Calif. The Sled Wings defeated the Colorado Warrior Avalanche, 5-2, in the title game. The Sled Wings, a team of Michigan athletes with physical disabilities, are sponsored…
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Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers win national NWBA championship

The Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers captured the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s Junior Division Varsity Championship during the March 30-April 2 tournament at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. The Junior Pacers – ranked the No. 4 seed – defeated the Georgia-based BlazeSports Junior Hawks, 54-36, to clinch the title. The Junior Pacers, a…
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Mary Free Bed research team awarded $400,000 Neilsen Grant

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The John F. Butzer Center for Research & Innovation at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has received a $400,000 grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to compare the effectiveness of two exercise and social engagement programs intended to enhance quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. “This award…
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New Adaptive Cheerleading Team breaks barriers, builds friendships

The Mary Free Bed All Stars Adaptive Cheerleading team boasts enthusiasm and spirit to spare. The newest team organized by Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports is made up of enthusiastic young athletes with physical or cognitive impairments that prevent participation in able-bodied cheer. “A cheerleading team was a missing piece of our program, and it has…
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Mary Free Bed Invitational draws 100 National Wheelchair Basketball Association athletes

Grand Rapids, Mich. – More than 100 wheelchair basketball athletes from across Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Ontario, Canada will compete Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 in the Mary Free Bed Invitational. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association tournament will be held at the universally designed Mary Free Bed YMCA, which is marking its…
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‘I have never underestimated my father or anybody else with a disability’

Guest blog: Nicholas Besta, 17, and his family know first-hand what living with a disability is like. That’s why they participate in Mary Free Bed’s peer support mentoring program, which is designed to give patients and their families access to people with injuries similar to their own. Nicholas, whose father, Pat, has used a wheelchair…
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