I Can Do It!

Unknown-3For the past few weeks, my Monday nights have been dedicated to watching Dancing With the Stars. To be honest, I can’t say that it’s a show I would normally watch, however, with Paralympian Amy Purdy as a contestant, I can’t get enough of it.

Unless her pant legs are rolled up, you can’t even notice that she has two prosthetic legs. At the young age of 19 Purdy  had both legs amputated after contracting meningitis. Although it was a devastating loss, she didn’t let it stop her. Purdy is a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboarder winner, a bronze metal winner at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, she’s played a model in a Madonna music video, a contestant on Amazing Race and she’s currently competing on Dancing With the Stars.

images-2Purdy says “I can live a great life,” and she certainly has. When she dances with her partner, Derek Hough, she’s showing many individuals with disabilities that it is possible. With dedication and determination you can achieve great things. In this video, it shows a clip of Purdy when she was 19 learning to stand on her prosthetic legs. She explains that with the help of her father, she learned to dance even before she walked. Look at how far she has come and what an inspiration she is to watch dance.

 

Purdy is also the Co-Founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization which helps disabled youth, adults and wounded veterans get involved in action sports. With events, programs and sport camps for those living with permanent physical disabilities. This organization is a great way to help get these individuals involved in action sports and achieve goals and dreams like Purdy has.

Michelle Wolfe

 

The Next Generation of Bionics

Unknown-2Hugh Herr lost his legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago. Herr is the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics, a company that works on developing bionics that is adaptable to all types of lifestyles. He personally has continued to mountain climb with the use of prosthetic legs, an electro mechanic attached to his body and implanted inside his body. Herr has found that although he lives with a disability, he is able to adapt his body to achieve things his original body was limiting him. He has adapted his bionics to work with his lifestyle.

 

Adrianne Haslet was a dancer who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. Through the use of a prosthetic leg, she is able to dance again. In the following TedTalk, she dances on stage for the first time since losing her leg.

Due to Herr’s personal story, it has driven him to build the next generation of bionic limbs which will help many others like Haslet. He believes that everyone should have the right to live life without a disability if they so choose.

Michelle Wolfe

 

Lending a Helping Hand

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Week? With 13.3 million volunteers across Canada this year, it’s a time to recognize and thank those people who dedicated their time, and energy. Volunteering is a selfless act, it’s a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking. To help someone in need without expecting pay in return.

images-3When I was in grade nine (oh boy that seems so long ago), I remember they had just come out with a new program to help students get active in volunteering. Each student had to complete 40 hours of volunteer service. At the time, I was very involved in the community already, so it was easy to get my hours, however, to others, it was a big pain in the butt. Clearly, this new program was designed to get those students into the community and involved in something greater then playing the newest X-Box games and watching TV. Many students chose to volunteer for something they were interested in. Possibly somewhere they thought would be a place they would be interested in a future job.

At Aim2Walk, we have had many students volunteering their time for clinical hours and soaking in anything they could to learn more. We have also had several students who are unsure of what they want to go through for schooling and what career path they should travel. They come to Aim2Walk to spend time observing what we do and to see if working as a Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist or in healthcare in general, would be good for them.

At our clinic, we have clients of all mobility levels. Generally each client has one therapist at a time which can be difficult if you have a client less mobile, or if your attempting a task which requires a few sets of hands. There have been many days when I’ve been working with a client and have wished I had that extra set of hands. Typically there’s a volunteer roaming around the clinic and they are eager to get involved and help where needed.

I would like to send out one big THANK YOU to all of the caring and hardworking volunteers we have had in the past. Your time and work has not gone unrecognized and we greatly appreciate the help. I have to be honest, I have noticed majority of our volunteers enjoy working with us at the clinic. We therapist are a pretty fun bunch, and our technology is pretty wicked to play with also!

Here are just a few of our recent volunteers.

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Volunteers usually get a chance to try the Robotics, including the Lokomat.

 

This year also marks the 11th National Volunteer Week. From April 6-12, Canadians are encouraging the country to take part in the Volunt-Hear Hotline. The hotline is a toll-free number for people to call and deliver a special thank you message to a volunteer. The messages will be available on Soundcloud where listeners can share the messages to the world. If your interested in learning more about the Volunt-Hear Hotline please click here. You can also tweet #NVW2014.

We are always happy to have an extra set of hands at the clinic. If you are interested in volunteering or just curious to see if this would be a career for you, feel free to stop in, call 416-679-9255, or email info@aim2walk.ca. *Just a little tip… majority of our therapists were volunteers with us prior to their full time career at Aim2Walk.

Happy National Volunteer Month!

Michelle Wolfe