RCTRC and Riders in the news:
Former High School Baseball Player Paralyzed In Accident Overcoming Odds
BY JEFFREY A. MORRIS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH 2015
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MILTON, W.Va. - Paul Holley has an incredible story of perseverance.
The former Hannan High School baseball and basketball player doing something no one's ever done before -- while paralyzed - and he is inspiring other quadriplegics to overcome the odds.
There are a few things Holley can't do because of his disability, but his determination more than makes up for them.
When Eyewitness News first met Holley two years ago, he was using a ventilator and he couldn't walk. Now he is using four wheels and hooves - down that road to recovery.
Holley spends one day a week in Milton, riding a horse as part of his therapy.
The 18 year old is also driving now.
In 2013, a car accident left Holley paralyzed, and he could only use a wheelchair. He was on his way home that rainy February day from baseball practice when it happened.
Since then, Holley has been receiving treatment at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago, becoming the first spinal cord injury patient to use a new "Rewalk Robotic Exoskeleton" as part of therapy. The robot supports his knees and hips helping him to stand and walk again.
"I accomplished every goal that I set out this far for myself and it felt good being able to do that," Holley said. "Being an athlete, I've always liked accomplishing goals and setting goals."
Holley achieved another one of his goals just a few months ago -- walking across the field at graduation.
Connie Sue Boggess is his occupational therapist. They meet once at week at the River Cities Therapy and Recreation Center in Milton. The two have been using a horse named Fawn to build up his upper body strength over the last year.
"He's an amazing kid." Boggess said. "He's going to have ups and downs. We all do but he gets out there and he will make you wanna do more for yourself because if he can do it anybody can do it."
Holley isn't just walking, driving and riding. He's also working at a local restaurant and planning for college. He wants to pursue a degree in business or sports medicine in the Fall. In the meantime, he'll continue going to therapy. He'll also return to the Shriner's Hospital in a few weeks for another Rewalk session.
The teenager credits his mother April Vickers for his strength.
"I'd like to thank my mom for everything she's done for me in the last two and a half years," Holley said. "I mean she's been by my side and she's never given up on me."
9/19/2015 Patriots Pride and Guardian's of the Children Ride
Molina Health care company honors community heroes
October 8, 2014 Charleston Daily Mail
John Reppert, Connie Sue Boggess, Nancy Tonkin and Bill Hutchinson were honored by Molina Medicaid Solutions of West Virginia, a local health care company, Wednesday evening at the company’s second annual Community Champions Awards ceremony at The Women’s Club of Charleston.
The company honored those who help care for society’s most vulnerable individuals, according to a press release. Each recipient was nominated by a community-based organization and will receive $1,000 for the nonprofit of his or her choice.
Reppert donates his time to HospiceCare, which serves 16 counties and offers patients and their families spiritual and emotional support groups, a grief and loss resource program, the Breathe Easy Program and Care Consulting Services. Among his volunteer positions, he has spent countless hours with patients, whose families couldn’t be there with them, the release said. John also keeps up the grounds at the inpatient facility with his own lawnmower and delivers medical supplies to patients’ homes.
Boggess is the executive director and founder of River Cities Therapy and Recreation Center Inc. in Milton. For the past 15 years, the organization has provided equine-assisted activities and therapy services to children and adults who have physical, mental, emotional and social challenges.
Tonkin has held leadership roles in groups like Community Council of Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Hospital Association, the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free West Virginia.
Hutchinson has spent 15 hours a week for the last 11 years volunteering with Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County. The group helps people of all ages learn to read, write and improve their English skills for free. William has tutored numerous students, meeting with each one several times a week. He also participates in fund-raisers for the center.
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