Family of Lansdale and Gladys Clagett of Upper Marlboro, Md, honored for the late couple’s donation of $500,000 to the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Standing, l to r: Foundation honoree Stanley Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA; board of trustees member Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, CSCS; board of trustees VP Bill Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, FAAOMPT; board member Chuck Wetherington; Florida Physical Therapy Association President Catherine Patla, PT, DHSC, OCS; APTA Deputy Executive Officer Janet Bezner, PT, PhD. Seated, l to r: Rachel Clagett, SPT, great niece; Steve Clagett, nephew; Rhea Clagett, wife of Robert Clagett and Robert Clagett, nephew. Photo courtesy of David Braun Photography.  

A former physical therapy patient from Prince George’s County, Maryland, grateful for the physical therapy he received years after contracting polio, but always wishing he had received it sooner, has made, through his estate, a significant financial gift to the Foundation for Physical Therapy, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va.

The estimated $500,000 gift from the estate of Lansdale and Gladys Clagett of Upper Marlboro, Md, was announced by the Foundation at its annual dinner dance on June 11. The event  held during the APTAs Annual Conference in Baltimore, which takes place from June 10 to 13.

Lansdale Clagett, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Prince George’s County Commissioner, contracted polio as a young adult, around 1920. After 20 years of physical therapy at a local hospital and with a visiting PT, beginning in the 1950s, Clagett fulfilled his dream of lifting himself out of his wheelchair and walking up a hill to his nephew’s home, APTA says.

"My uncle was determined to walk on his own, and one day, he did just that," his nephew Robert Y. Clagett, Esq of Upper Marlboro said, according to the APTA. "Using crutches, and with his physical therapist by his side, he walked about a block over a hill from his house to our house next door, fulfilling his dream. My uncle always said that if physical therapy had been available when he first contracted polio, he would have been able to walk most of his life. He wanted other people to have the chance to receive the greatest benefit from physical therapy. That’s why he gave a large portion of his estate to help the physical therapy research efforts of the Foundation."

Robert Clagett and extended family will be recognized during the Foundation event that raises funds for physical therapy research and honors those who have supported the Foundation’s mission. One Clagett family member is a physical therapy student. Rachel Clagett, great niece of Lansdale and Gladys, also from Maryland, is a student at the University of South Carolina, says APTA.

Established in 1979, the Foundation for Physical Therapy is a national, independent nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships, says the APTA. The Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has awarded more than $12 million in research grants, doctoral scholarships, and fellowships that have lead to groundbreaking outcomes that have positively impacted the lives of patients, according to the APTA.

Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible and can be made online at or sent to its headquarters at: PO Box 1017, Merrifield, VA 22116-9767. For more information, call (800) 875-1378.

[Source: APTA]