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 LeighAnn   As of 10/23/2012, we have raised $9,070! Almost half way to my goal! Thank you for your interest in supporting me. For those of you who may not know my story, below is a brief history. You can also follow me at martinezNYC2012.

Until just a few years ago, the idea that “my life could change in the blink of an eye” seemed unimaginable.  I was unaware that I was on the threshold of a major life change and would soon learn firsthand about disabilities and the importance of excellent physical rehabilitation and innovative research. 

One evening, a friend of mine and I were having fun playing around. At one point he tried to lift me onto his shoulders. He lost his balance and accidently dropped me.  I fell no more than a few feet, but as soon as I landed, I knew something was terribly wrong.  My friend quickly called 911 and I was brought to a local emergency room where I was diagnosed as having a complete spinal cord injury at the T-10 level—the middle of the chest—unable to move or feel my legs.

During the last few years, my new career as a Research Assistant at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Kessler Foundation has given me the satisfaction of working every day with women and men who, like me, are rebuilding their lives after injury or illness. Most important, my work contributes to research studies that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Kessler Foundation is one of the largest public charities supporting people with physical disabilities and is a well-known leader in the field of rehabilitation research. At Kessler, researchers and scientists study ways to help people recover from disabling injuries and conditions.  Their research helps people with spinal cord injury improve mobility and function while minimizing pain, pressure ulcers, and other complications. Kessler Foundation is also actively involved in cognitive research that helps people with stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain injury, to regain their ability to think, learn, and remember. 

Kessler Institute and Kessler Foundation have given to me in ways that have fundamentally affected my life for the better, and I want to help them help many more people in the future. That’s why I’ve decided to participate in the New York Marathon this coming November as a Wheelchair Athlete sponsored by Kessler Foundation. I have set an ambitious goal of raising $20,000. One hundred percent of the money will go to supporting research needs for people with disabilities.

Thank you for your enthusiastic financial support on behalf of the many people, just like me, whose lives are being restored through the work of Kessler Foundation.


 LeighAnn Martinez                                    Donate Now!