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New Adaptive Cheerleading Team breaks barriers, builds friendships

The Mary Free Bed All Stars Adaptive Cheerleading team boasts enthusiasm and spirit to spare. The newest team organized by Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports is made up of enthusiastic young athletes with physical or cognitive impairments that prevent participation in able-bodied cheer. “A cheerleading team was a missing piece of our program, and it has…


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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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Preschool Sampler gives sports-lover Greyson introduction to team play

Greyson Gibbs is an energetic first grader who loves sports and playing with his friends. His participation in the Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program’s new Preschool Sampler offers him the best of both worlds. “He loves all the games they play and seeing all of his friends on a weekly basis,” said Greyson’s mom, Leigh….


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New fencing team challenges athletes physically, mentally

Tim Volkers loves swordplay. He’s a fan of “Zorro,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Star Wars” (yes, a lightsaber can be considered a sword). And now he’s wielding one himself. Tim is a member of Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports’ new fencing team, organized this year following success of the program’s adaptive…


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Mary Free Bed YMCA a global first for accessibility

Thursday, December 3, marked the start of an exciting new chapter in accessibility and opportunity. The West Michigan community — including many representatives from Mary Free Bed — came together to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the much-anticipated Mary Free Bed YMCA. This first-of-its-kind Y is the first health and wellness facility in the world to…


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Mary Free Bed YMCA to have universal design and LEED certification

Guest Blog by Bryan Koehn, @bwkoehn ProgressiveAE Principal, Director of Design The greatest of all ideas are universal. They transcend the boundaries of age, ability, location, or financial situation. They are brilliantly simple, yet inherently complicated. The greatest of ideas are dreamt by few, understood by many, and accessible to all. The Mary Free Bed…


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River Bank Run with Mary Free Bed handcycle and wheelchair athletes

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to sponsor the Fifth Third River Bank Run Wheelchair & Handcycle divisions. The following videos show you first-hand what it’s like to train and race on a handcycle or wheelchair. Please contact Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports if you’re interested in being involved with the team. #MFBRollin | #53RBR – Join…


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Wheelchair basketball coach & player earns spot in national hall of fame

Lee Montgomery — a wheelchair basketball player and coach of Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports’ basketball teams, the Junior Pacers and the Adult Pacers — recently was inducted into the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Hall of Fame. The coach’s relationship with Mary Free Bed spans more than 5 decades. Coach Lee, 57, was born with limb differences…


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The FAQs of handcycling and wheelchair racing

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to sponsor the wheelchair and handcycle divisions of the Fifth Third River Bank Run for 26 years and support the Grand Rapids community. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about the Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports team, wheelchair racing, handcycling and how to be involved. 1. How long…


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