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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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UPDATED: Mary Free Bed Alumna Pam Buschle, Queen of GRIT

UPDATE: Mary Free Bed alumna Pam Buschle has made great strides since she was an inpatient at Mary Free Bed. The East Grand Rapids resident, who recently served as grand marshal for the city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration (sponsored by the city and Mary Free Bed to mark their 125th anniversaries), appeared on WOOD-TV’s…
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Mary Free Bed alumnus Bryan Barten heading to Paralympics in Rio

Bryan Barten will be the first to tell you he’s an athlete. And actually, he is a top athlete. In September, he will represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Barten, 42, a Hart, Mich., native who now lives in Tucson, Ariz., is one of the best wheelchair tennis players in…
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Center for Limb Differences celebrates 70th anniversary

In addition to celebrating the 125th anniversary of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital this year, its Center for Limb Differences is marking its 70th year of caring for young patients with congenital and acquired limb differences. When it was established in 1946, the center – then known as the Juvenile Amputee Training Program – was…
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Expert tips to make healthy summer eating a breeze

It’s finally summer! In addition to heat and sunshine, summer means picnics, open houses, beach days, camping and summer parties. Foods that go along with the summer fun typically include hot dogs, potato chips, burgers, pop/lemonade/alcoholic beverages, sauces, pickles, coleslaw and more pasta/potato salad than we’ve had all year. Although it’s OK to enjoy ourselves, we should…
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Dr. Chris VandenBerg heads out on six-month adventure

The Mary Free Bed family bid a fond farewell to Dr. Chris VandenBerg as he embarks on a six-month sabbatical to travel with his wife, Betsy. Dr. VandenBerg, chief of staff and medical director of the Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program, is scheduled to return in January. Mary Free Bed’s oncology rehabilitation team surprised…
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Formerly conjoined twin Josie Hull works hard for independence

Josie Hull and her sister, Teresa, made national headlines 13 years ago when doctors separated the conjoined twins. Born in Guatemala, the girls were just one year old when they were brought to the United States for the 23-hour life-saving surgery at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Since then, both girls have made great…
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