Walk to Victory: Meet Kirk

Here at Magee, everyone is just buzzing with excitement. Why, you ask? Because this Saturday and Sunday is our 2nd annual Walk to Victory, a 24-hour step-a-thon to  raise funds for Magee’s Locomotor Training Program and The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network. Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, current and former patients and their family and friends will walk on treadmills in our Locomotor Training Clinic for 24 straight hours! Each walker is fundraising to bring greater access to new, activity-based therapies for more patients with spinal cord injury, and everyone has a story to tell.

Throughout the week, we’re going to share a few of those stories with you! Today, meet Kirk Crandall.

Kirk doing LT at last year's Walk It Out

Kirk doing LT at last year’s Walk to Victory

Kirk first came to Magee in October 2012 by way of Pittsburgh. After sustaining a C6 complete spinal cord injury in a car accident, he received his initial medical care and rehabilitation in Pittsburgh. But he and his family wanted more. They researched outpatient programs across the country, and decided on Magee. So his whole family said hello to the City of Brotherly Love and permanently relocated in Philadelphia.

When he arrived, he started in Day Rehab at the Riverfront. He was making tremendous gains — and he was just getting started! In December 2012, he started with Locomotor Training.

“LT helped me more than anything I had done since my injury,” he said.  “Before LT, I was completely dependent on others to help me in and out of my wheelchair. Now, I can transfer by myself, can sit up, can drink out of a cup. LT has improved my strength and balance, and I am now able to do more things on my own. It has really changed how I live my everyday life.”

For all the physical benefits of LT, Kirk believes the emotional benefits are just as great.

“Getting up and walking is great physically — but it’s even better mentally,” he said. “To see my legs move, to have my old line of sight, to be outside my chair — it’s incredible.”

Kirk & his mom at last year's event

Kirk & his mom at last year’s event

Kirk and his mom attended last year’s 24-hour step-a-thon, and he is pumped to come back for this year’s event. This time around, his buddy is a bit of a local celebrity — Geno Vento, owner of South Philly’s own Geno’s Steaks!

He is excited to help spread awareness and access to LT to other young adults who have recently been injured — and he believes this is a great place to start.

“I want other kids to have the same opportunities I did,” he said. “It was so great for me.”

Kirk and his buddy Geno will take to the treadmills on Saturday. He is looking forward to seeing old friends, taking his turn doing LT and having a “happy, good day.” How can he not?

“Any day where I can walk is an amazing day.”

Help us reach our goal to provide LT to other people like Kirk! To donate to Team Magee, please click here

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