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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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Inn at Mary Free Bed expansion accommodates more patients, families

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Nicholas Burrell comes to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital each week for outpatient therapy, traveling about 90 minutes from his home north of Shelby, Michigan. It’s a fairly long trek, but staying overnight at the Inn at Mary Free Bed makes it possible. Nicholas, 32, arrives in the afternoon for a…
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With new prosthesis and encouragement from her Mary Free Bed team, Dottie Kuklewski ‘just keeps going’

Dottie Kuklewski developed an infection that forced doctors to amputate her leg. She went to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation and spent several weeks in the inpatient Amputee Program. Since then, Dottie used a wheelchair exclusively for mobility, hesitant to try a prosthesis. About two years later, Dottie needed a new shrinker for her residual limb….
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Former patient Anthony White overcomes odds to earn PTA degree

Anthony White was catching a nap during the 18-hour trek back to college in Wyoming from his home in Michigan when his friend fell asleep at the wheel. The car careened off the road, striking a group of trees. His friend was OK, but Anthony sustained life-threatening injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. “My parents…
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Eric hits goals with Mary Free Bed’s Weight Management Program

Eric Lake, a pain psychologist with Mary Free Bed’s Pain Center, has learned to “listen to his body” and focus on his wellness goals with help from Mary Free Bed’s Weight Management Program. To support the weight-loss success he achieved in the program’s Foundation phase, Eric committed to the next phase of the program —…
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Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports motivates 10-year-old Ginessa to compete

Ginessa Aguirre is a spunky 10-year-old with a long brown ponytail who likes making slime, watching YouTube and cuddling with her cat, Smokey. She also likes cooking and baking with her mom, Nora. But what Ginessa likes most is playing basketball. “I like to steal the ball,” she said. See? Spunky. Ginessa plays for the…
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Rehabilitation, hard work help Dario overcome debilitating pain

In 2015, Dario Cook was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that affects the spine and can lead to severe, chronic pain. That was nearly eight years after he first experienced symptoms, collapsing in pain while walking to work. He initially was diagnosed with a hip strain, but the pain never really went…
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