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Harper excels after surgery to remove brain tumor with participation in intensive Pediatric Day Rehab program

Harper Gallagher hadn’t been feeling well. When her mom, Stephanie, asked the 2-year-old what was wrong, Harper touched the top of her head. The toddler wasn’t sleeping and was experiencing severe headaches. After several trips to her pediatrician’s office and medical tests, doctors discovered Harper had Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a rare brain tumor. “It was…
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Brooklyn raises money for Mary Free Bed to honor her grandma

Brooklyn Hammer is just 8 years old, but she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up. “She’s going to either U of M, MSU or GVSU to become a physical therapist,” said her mother, Sarah. While that may seem like a lofty goal for a second-grader, Brooklyn’s familiar with the field….
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High-intensity gait training fuels stroke survivor’s recovery

Nick Snyder came to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation following a stroke that caused significant weakness on the left side of his body. Unable to stand without assistance, the 56-year-old Sheridan resident participated in high-intensity gait training to help him regain strength and endurance. When he graduated five weeks later, Nick was walking. High-intensity gait…
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Golf a pain in your back? A poor backswing might be the culprit

Guest blog: Robyn Smith is a board-certified sports physical therapist in Mary Free Bed’s Sports Rehabilitation Program. She facilitates Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) physical assessments to help elite and amateur golfers avoid injury while advancing to the next level of play. For questions or more information regarding golf physical assessments, email robyn.smith@maryfreebed.com. In this blog, Robyn offers…
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Paralympians lead charge in River Bank Run handcycle, wheelchair divisions

Two Paralympians are among the elite athletes to compete in the 41st annual River Bank Run on Saturday in downtown Grand Rapids. Aaron Pike and Tom Davis will hit speeds of more than 18 mph, making the wheelchair and handcycle divisions two of the event’s most exciting races. Davis, who represented Team USA in the…
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Spring clean your nutrition

Spring cleaning isn’t just for decluttering your closets and clearing out the garage. Spring is a great time to evaluate your weekly meal plan and add a variety of healthy foods. It’s good to change up your weekly meal routine. We get in a rut when the same foods appear on our plates week after…
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Grand Rapids Thunder captures first national championship

The Grand Rapids Thunder rumbled into Phoenix for the United States Quad Rugby Association national tournament and emerged with the 2018 Division II championship. It’s the first national title for Mary Free Bed’s quad rugby wheelchair team. The No. 2-seeded Thunder defeated the top-seeded Northridge Knights of California, 58-52, in the wheelchair rugby tournament April…
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Music motivates Mary Free Bed patients, putting the harmony in rehabilitation

Sharlet Alagia was walking across the street when she was struck by a car in the crosswalk. The impact broke her back, and Sharlet underwent emergency surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo to repair the injury to her spinal cord. When she came to Mary Free Bed four days after the accident, Sharlet could…
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Junior Pacers clinch 2018 NIT Championship at National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

The Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers once again captured a national championship at the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, and coach Lee Montgomery couldn’t be more proud. “We had some ups and downs throughout the tournament, but these kids never gave up,” Montgomery said. “They never gave up.” The Junior Pacers –…
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