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Former Mary Free Bed patients to compete in Fifth Third River Bank Run

On Saturday, May 12, 2012, thousands will come together to make history in the Fifth Third River Bank Run in downtown Grand Rapids. This year’s event celebrates the River Bank Run’s 35th race, and will involve more than 21,000 athletes – including those who compete from wheelchairs and handcycles – in the largest 25k race…
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Cancer survivor plays wheelchair tennis against able-bodied competitors

by Kate Snider Jess Sporte, 23, lost her leg to cancer when she was just 4 months old. Jess uses crutches for short distances and a wheelchair for longer distances. She received outpatient care from the Center for Limb Differences at Mary Free Bed until she was 21 years old. Growing up, Jess watched from the sidelines as…
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Teen recovers at Mary Free Bed after brain tumor

by Kate Snider Fifteen-year-old Brenden Haas had been vomiting regularly for 7 months when he collapsed at his home. At the beginning of his illness, Brenden’s stomach didn’t feel right and he began vomiting in the morning. When it became apparent that his vomiting wasn’t because of the flu, his parents took him to a…
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Struck by drunk driver, amputee prepares for Paralympics

by Kate Snider Melanie Johnson was riding her motorcycle to her nephew’s football game in September 2004 when she was struck by a drunk driver. The life-changing accident happened just 5 miles from home. “I knew it was really bad when I heard the helicopter,” Melanie said. “I remember thinking, if they had to call…
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“The people around me give me strength”

Kyle Dockery, 15, had a strange tingling sensation one afternoon in November 2009 at his high school wrestling practice. He told his coach he wasn’t feeling well, complaining of tingling limbs and an aching head. Suddenly, Kyle collapsed. Doctors in Lansing suspected a spinal stroke. Twelve days after his injury Kyle’s mother, Shervonda Dockery, decided to have Kyle transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation…
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