The United Spinal Association, along with the Everyday Abilities Foundation, are offering scholarships to 10 qualified individuals with spinal cord injuries or disorders (SCI/D) living in the San Francisco Bay Area to receive gait training treatment at SCI-FIT in Pleasanton, Calif, according to a news release from the United Spinal Association.

As part of the awards program, the United Spinal Association has donated two gait training machines—the Robomedica StepGain-GRF, manufactured by Robomedica Inc, Mission Viejo, Calif; and the Lokomat Nanos, manufactured by Hocoma, Norwell, Mass—to be used by the scholarship recipients at SCI-FIT.

Recipients will receive two weekly gait training sessions using one or both machines for 1 year, the release notes. Each session will include approximately 15 minutes of setup and 45 minutes of therapy. According to the release, some of the benefits of gait training therapy for people with SCI include lower risk of pressure sores, decreased spasticity, better circulation, and the promotion of bone and joint development.

“These scholarships will offer individuals with SCI/D the unique opportunity to benefit from cutting-edge therapy that could help improve their quality of life and independence,” says Tom Shankle, president of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of United Spinal Association.

“Many in the SCI/D community face challenges finding and using accessible exercise equipment. It is often too costly to purchase, or too far away to access. We’re excited to be able to provide access to these amazing machines,” he adds.

United Spinal Association was formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders, including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS, and post-polio, the release notes.

Learn more about specification qualifications and apply for the scholarship program. Submissions must be received by June 1, according to the release.

[Source(s): PRNewswire, United Spinal Association]