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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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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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Jerrensia & Jen make national splash with message of inclusion

Guest blog by Jen Kroll, whose daughter Jerrensia has sought outpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed. This fall, Jen wrote a Facebook post about Target’s Halloween advertisement that included a little girl with leg braces and arm crutches. The post went viral and drew attention from Mashable, Upworthy and other publications. This is a follow-up…
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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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Augmentative Communication provides options for speech

Augmentative and alternative communication can literally help to give a voice to individuals with diagnoses or conditions that can include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, stroke, cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and Down syndrome. In Mary Free Bed’s Augmentative Communication Program, a speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist work with…
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‘I’ll keep going until I can’t go anymore’

Thirty-four-year-old Nate Denofre doesn’t have much use for the term “disabled.” Born without legs below the knee – a result of amniotic band syndrome – Nate prefers to focus on what is possible for him to do, instead of what isn’t. His latest undertaking embodies the odds-defying spirit that’s driven him to live a life…
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Advances in foot drop rehabilitation benefit wide range of patients

There have been tremendous strides in foot drop rehabilitation in the last few decades, and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital therapists have stayed in step with all the latest developments. “Foot drop” is the term commonly used to describe a difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot while walking. Foot drop can mean an…
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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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