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Perservering Through Paralysis

Although neurological disorders seem rare, many people may find themselves dealing with one at some point in their lives.  Car accidents, back-breaking falls, and even lifelong conditions can leave an individual with feelings of hopelessness because they can’t live the life they could have.

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.  There are those who help individuals reach their goals regardless of their condition, and CORE (Center Of Recovery & Exercise) is an organization dedicated to that mission. After CORE’s founder, Matthew Davies, obtained a C6 spinal cord injury in 2005, he founded the organization in 2011 after experiencing the benefits of an intensive exercise routine.  Thus, CORE’s team provides similar training programs for those with multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, Parkinson’s, stroke, and other neurological disorders.

CORE begins with an Individualized Training Session where they assess a client’s goals, exercise preferences, and current abilities to frame their exercise routine around those factors. Those who need to strengthen their core and improve their gait, for example, may benefit from doing exercises with an instructor or practicing walking patterns with equipment designed for those with their condition. Such equipment includes an Anti-Gravity Treadmill that allows a client to practice walking in a weightless environment, the Kine Assist device that walks with the user while supporting them at the hips, and the Lite Gait Support System that bears the weight of the user so they can practice gait training on a manual treadmill.

Those with paralysis have many options as well, including Aquatic Therapy in CORE’s enclosed swimming pool (with an underwater treadmill included!), the Uppertone device that lets C4-C5 quadriplegics do exercises independently, and the ReWalk Exoskeleton that enables paraplegics (T4 or lower) to walk again after going through 20-30 training sessions with CORE assistants.  CORE also provides Occupational Therapy through their partners at Neuro Hub, where they help clients learn the fine motor skills for daily tasks in work, personal care, and driving with accommodations (after initial assessments).

Regardless of the routine or situation, CORE’s main mission is to build confidence, independence, and hope in a client who has not been able to find it in other organizations. When speaking with Malerie Murphy, the Executive Director, she said that clients should “never give up on [their] dreams and…surround themselves in a positive environment with people that want to help [them] fight to reach [their] health, exercise, and recovery goals.” She and her CORE team members are there to support individuals in achieving their best potential, whether it takes months or years to accomplish. Even though CORE doesn’t take insurance, clients can receive donations for their exercise program through CORE’s foundation website and the many sites listed there. The training facility is located in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

For those interested in volunteering, two opportunities are available. Students can apply for internships each semester to learn about the field with a mentor, while anyone can participate in CORE’s Rock Steady Boxing Program. Each week, boxing volunteers act as cornermen in the boxing ring to help those with Parkinson’s compete as a fun way to fight their symptoms. More information about these opportunities and exercise programs can be found at CORE’s facility website or by sending them an email through their contact form:

center of recovery through paralysis

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