Kessler Foundation and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation has announced that they will participate in “Walk to Victory over Paralysis,” a 24-hour fundraising and awareness event scheduled to run rom 9:00 am July 19 through 9:00 am July 20. The organizations are part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN).

The late Christopher Reeve established the NRN, which aims to develop and expand access to activity-based therapies for SCI patients in an effort to improve their mobility, regain function, and increase independent living. Funds raised will help bring greater access to new, activity-based therapies for more SCI patients.

According to a Kessler news release, Walk to Victory over Paralysis events will be held simultaneously at eight rehabilitation centers, as well as fitness and wellness facilities nationwide. Kessler is slated to host the local event at its facilities in West Orange, NJ. The release also notes that in addition to the 24-hour walk, other sites in the NRN are supporting with fundraising efforts. The NRN goal at each center and fitness facility nationwide is $30,000, translating into a grand total of $330,000.

The release also states that Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers football player, will be joining Team Kessler. LeGrand was paralyzed following a spinal cord injury (SCI) he sustained during a game against Army in October 2010 and began his rehabilitation at Kessler Institute. He continues his therapy program 3 days a week and also participates in the NRN’s locomotor training program at Kessler.

Visit Team Kessler’s page here

Sandra “Buffy” Wojciehowski is the Team Kessler Captain. Wojciehowski is a clinical specialist in the Outpatient SCI department and clinical supervisor for the NRN at Kessler Institute and a therapist for SCI Research at Kessler Foundation.

“…Every day, we meet amazing individuals whose lives were changed by a sudden paralyzing injury or illness. We work to help them regain mobility and make research discoveries that enable them to lead to better, healthier lives. The Walk to Victory will help to showcase the great strides our participants are making in their journey to recovery and raise funds to help more people take their first steps,” Wojciehowski says.

Activity-based therapy and exercise is key for SCI patients, adds Susan J. Harkema, PhD, NeuroRecovery Network Director for the Reeve Foundation, director of Research at Frazier Rehab Institute, Professor and Rehabilitation Research Director at the University of Louisville Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and Owsley B. Frazier Chair in Clinical Rehabilitation Research.

“…We have so much more information today about recovery that is helping people lead healthier and more functional lives, and improving their overall quality of life,” Harkema points in the release.

Learn more about Kessler Foundation’s SCI rehabilitation research

Additionally, the release reports that the community is encouraged to participate and make a donation to support the work of the Reeve Foundation’s NRN.

The funds raised by Team Kessler, the release says, will be distributed between Kessler and the Reeve Foundation, with each center using the funds to meet their greatest need.

To access a complete list of sites or to donate, visit the Walk to Victory over Paralysis website

Source(s): Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Reeve Foundation