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Nearly 2,000 “Notes of Hope” lifts spirits during pandemic

Notes of Hope recipient

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit West Michigan earlier this year, we thought “Notes of Hope” would be a simple way for the community to help restore hope to patients already facing challenging circumstances due to an injury or illness. We knew West Michigan residents would open their hearts to help patients who couldn’t have family…


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The beat goes on for The Ghost Inside drummer seriously injured in 2015 crash

Andrew Tkaczyk Ghost Inside Drummer

When Andrew Tkaczyk wrote a guest blog in 2016 about his recovery after a devastating traffic crash, the drummer for The Ghost Inside was very clear. “I have no doubt I’ll get back to doing what I love,” he wrote. “That’s still a while away, but I’m very confident it will happen. Very confident.” It’s…


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Portage woman with COVID-19 is first graduate of Mary Free Bed’s ReCOVery™ Unit

Nancy Blodgett leaving the Mary Free Bed ReCOVery Unit

Nancy Blodgett came to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation after spending nine days on a ventilator, fighting for her life. A week later and much stronger, she became the first graduate of the hospital’s ReCOVery™ Unit for COVID-19 survivors. “It will be a new normal, but I’m OK with that,” the 55-year-old Portage resident said….


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Embrace heart health with these nutrition tips for a healthy lifestyle

Healthy Cooking

From our experts: Jessi Holden is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Mary Free Bed. February is American Heart Month, and there’s no better time to discuss heart health. Nutrition is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle and a vital way to fight heart disease. Here are some ways to ramp up your heart health: 1….


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Don’t let food stress you out this holiday season

Healthy Holiday Snack Mix

From our experts: Jessi Holden is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Mary Free Bed. In this blog, she shares some tips for managing your health during the holidays. The holiday season is here, and while it’s a time for celebration, it also can cause stress. Maintaining your health, physically and mentally, throughout the holidays is about…


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Spinal cord injury study shows promise for increased independence; more participants needed

Pat Besta working out

People with spinal cord injuries who exercise regularly are seeing a positive impact on their health, according to preliminary results of a study by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Michigan. The three-year, collaborative research effort is investigating whether a novel exercise training program affects quality of life for people with spinal…


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Faith, hope fuel ‘Miracle Malachi’s’ recovery from traumatic brain injury

  One of life’s greatest lessons is how quickly it can change in a split second. That’s why, when the Griffin family gathers this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, they’ll give thanks for second chances. “We look for every moment we can to celebrate,” said Thomas Griffin, his son, Malachi, sitting by his side. They were…


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Research shows interdisciplinary rehabilitation best treats fibromyalgia

Guest blog: Dr. James Hudson is medical director of the Pain Rehabilitation program. He’s specialized in the treatment and management of patients with chronic pain at Mary Free Bed for more than 30 years. He leads a specialized team of doctors and therapists who use a rehabilitation approach to pain management. In this blog, Dr….


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Heather uses discipline, hard work to manage fibromyalgia pain

Heather Galli is passionate about martial arts and the values it teaches. A third-degree black belt, Heather says honor, respect, discipline and hard work are principles she and her husband also instill in their children. Unfortunately, the 48-year-old’s years of training and teaching also took a toll on her body. She was diagnosed in 2018…


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