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Mary Free Bed memories

by Amanda Larsen John Butler has spent his life working with kids. A middle school teacher for 33 years and a football coach for 40 years, John has influenced many lives in Caledonia, Mich. John’s care and compassion for the children in his life is a direct result of the fact that he knows what…
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Man with one hand builds airplanes

by Kate Snider In 1977, Dave Duperron was a 37-year-old firefighter in Taylor, Mich. He was married with 3 children and was a fire inspector at the time of his amputation. As a fire inspector, Dave would go help the firefighters when they needed an extra pair of hands. Dave went to help at a…
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Saeboflex therapy helps stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury patients

Twenty-year-old Nicole has a history of cerebral palsy. In 2007 she underwent surgery for a brain hemmorage, which caused severe weakness and increased spasticity in her right leg and arm. Nicole has participated in therapy for the past three years at Mary Free Bed and at home. Part of her therapy includes the SaeboFlex to…
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Amputee patient now an Olympic hopeful

by Amanda Larsen A competitive athlete, Katie VanDam knows how to set goals and exceed them. When she stepped into a crosswalk on an October evening, she didn’t know how her life and her goals would change. A speeding SUV struck Katie and threw her into the middle of the road. Her friend, Jeremy, was…
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Patient fights his way back after brain injury from ATV accident

“It was getting late and I started to worry,” says his wife, Tammy. “So I went to look for him.” A truck driver, Tom had parked his semi across the road by a neighbor’s house. “I figured he was there,” says Tammy. “Our neighbor saw that I was upset, and he and his dog came…
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ALS Clinic inspires patients to raise money

by Kate Snider JJ Bouma’s life changed in an instant when he was given the diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. On the afternoon of September 16, 2005, JJ’s doctor met with him and his family to discuss the results of tests that had been taken to determine the…
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A Mary Free Bed love story

Eighteen years ago, Shelly Loose received a call inviting her on the adventure of a lifetime. She and Ken, her fiancé at the time, were asked if they’d like to be married on the TV show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. For Shelly, a longtime fan of Kathie Lee Gifford and an expectant bride…
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Baby Sayla needed helmet for flat spot on head

“When I took Sayla to our physician for her four-month checkup, I questioned her head tilt and she had a bump on her forehead,” said Shanda Bender, Sayla’s mom. “My doctor said the bump was because of the flat spot on her head, and suggested I try repositioning techniques. At that point, we met with…
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11-year-old runner felt like she was breathing through a straw

by Kate Snider Last summer, Kaysey participated with Girls on the Run, but found it hard to keep breathing during her workout. As she was running, her throat felt like it was closing up. “It felt like I was breathing through a straw,” explained 11-year-old Kaysey Sterk. “I thought maybe it was asthma. I didn’t…
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