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Non-profit Pushing Limits of Paralysis

Non-profit Pushing Limits of Paralysis



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Ed Yeates ReportingVictims of spinal cord injuries who keep pushing the envelope to walk again say Christopher Reeve's dream did not die with him. In Utah now a non-profit foundation is pushing for more research and more aggressive therapy.

At Neuroworx in Sandy, Mark Christiansen is doing something he's never done since he was seventeen-years old. With aggressive therapy he's getting ready to stand on his own for the first time since he broke his neck as a teenager 43 years ago.

Mark Christiansen: “We did great. We made it, great, fantastic. We did great. Pretty exciting isn’t it?”

Mark, like others there, are pushing the envelope, much like Christopher Reeve did during the nine years of his paralysis. Whatever works, do it! Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't, but you don't stop trying.

Dale Hull: “He started something and it’s too good of a thing to let go.”

That's why Utah physician Dr. Dale Hull has now formed a non-profit foundation. It will develop funds to push the boundaries of research and buy equipment that most patients now have to travel out of state to use. There will be an endowment fund to help people who can't afford the therapy.

Todd Inman is walking - something doctors said he would never be able to do again.

Todd Inman: “To be honest with you, I didn’t think I would ever be out of a hospital bed, let alone even in a wheelchair. You have to be willing to push yourself farther than you did yesterday.”

As a physician, Dale Hull saw his own diagnosis - his own x-rays of his non-repairable spinal cord injury. Walk? Doctors told him he would never do it.

Dale Hull, M.D, Dale B. Hull Foundation: “My first goal was to be able to drive the joystick with one arm rather than a sip and puff tube. So to get where I am now is unbelievable.”

Unbelievable is where Christopher Reeve was reaching. While he didn't make it, others will.

All of the folks like Todd, who come in here for rehab are developing their own mottos which will eventually be on a so-called motto plaque. The first one - the foundation's new signature - "Push for More." Like the 450 feet Mark walked for the first time in 43 years.

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