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Halloween for the Rest of Us costume parade a treat for kids who use wheelchairs

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital once again is teaming with community volunteers to make Halloween a little more magical for kids who use wheelchairs. Costume construction is nearly complete for more than a dozen current and former Mary Free Bed patients, who will get to show off their awesome creations in the Halloween for the…
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Heroes Bash to celebrate Mary Free Bed pediatric patients

Updated Oct. 24 with the above images from the Oct. 20 event. Click here for additional photos  Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital will celebrate its youngest patients and their families at “Heroes Bash 2017.” Current Pediatric Program patients and many who graduated this year are among more than 120 people expected to attend tonight’s superhero-themed…
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Gerber Foundation board members visit outpatient pediatric gym

Members of the Gerber Foundation Board of Trustees visited Mary Free Bed for a first-hand look at its new and renovated facilities, including the Pediatric Therapy Gym, where a plaque is displayed in recognition of the foundation’s generous $250,000 gift to the “Join the Movement” capital campaign. “We have the great fortune as a foundation…
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Arlee Rodgers tackles cerebral palsy with determination and a lot of spunk

Guest blog: Jynel Rodgers shares her daughter, Arlee’s, story and how Mary Free Bed’s pediatric rehabilitation specialists have helped put her on the path to independence following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery to treat cerebral palsy. Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch her heartwarming video story.  Arlee is 7 1/2 years old. She…
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Little Gemma finds strength to battle hypotonia, ‘courage’ to try new things

Gemma was 1 year old when she started outpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for hypotonia, a condition that weakens the muscles, making it difficult to sit, stand or walk. As part of her therapy, pediatric physical therapist Kate Rustem has used Kinesio Taping to facilitate core muscle stability. “We use it to…
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Hetler family has ‘only positive expectations’ for daughter born with limb differences

Guest blog: Kellie Hetler is a photographer from Grand Rapids whose daughter, Gabriella, was born with congenital skeletal dysplasia, an upper extremity limb difference. Kellie chronicles Gabby’s story on a website called “Gabriella’s Hope.” Kellie also has organized a fundraiser for Mary Free Bed’s Center for Limb Differences. A special screening of Disney Pixar’s “Finding…
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Abigail Kopf’s recovery: ‘To see where she is today is amazing’

Abigail Kopf, the Battle Creek teen critically injured in the Feb. 20 mass shootings in Kalamazoo, graduated April 20 from Mary Free Bed after 6 weeks of intensive inpatient treatment. Since her admission to Mary Free Bed on March 8, Abigail has made significant strides in her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head….
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A princess of a patient: Jerrensia enjoys royal treatment

This is an update to a Nov. 18, 2015, blog about the Kroll family. Visit that post for additional photos and details about Jen Kroll’s viral Facebook message.   Like many girls her age, six-year-old Jerrensia Caroline Kroll loves Disney princesses. Elsa, the noble heroine of the animated film “Frozen,” ranks high on her list of…
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Certified Child Life Specialist joins Pediatric team at Mary Free Bed

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Certified Child Life Specialist Kelsey Combs has joined Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to help its youngest patients cope with their illness and hospitalization. Combs, who comes to Mary Free Bed from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, will provide services that educate, support and prepare young children and teenagers.  She will collaborate…
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