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

Adam Chaffee graduates from Mary Free Bed

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 sustained a paralyzing spinal cord injury in a diving accident July 25. He graduated Thursday from Mary Free Bed after months of…
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Jerrensia & Jen make national splash with message of inclusion

Jen Kroll and Jerrensia 4

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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‘The tables turned’: Doctor reflects on patient experience


Guest blog by Dr. Marliee Mead, who has been the Medical Director of the Mary Free Bed East Beltline Hand Clinic As a hand and plastic surgeon, I have had a long professional relationship with Mary Free Bed therapists and physicians. I even participated in the creation of their 2013 Art Prize entry! Recently, the…
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Hunting safety tips for an injury-free 2015 season

Mike Kibben hunting safety blog

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 1

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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Healthy cooking during the holidays

Healthy snacks weight management

The holidays are quickly approaching and there are so many great family recipes to share. Unfortunately, that cookie recipe from great-great-great-grandma that calls for one and a half cups of butter may not align with your weight loss meal plan. It’s OK to splurge on occasion – but only within reason. Healthy cooking is possible…
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‘I’ll keep going until I can’t go anymore’

Where Now Nate Denofre

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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