Erica’s Corner: A Note from the Chief
Fifteen years ago I sustained a C6/7 spinal cord injury from a motor vehicle accident and was paralyzed from the chest down. At the age of 23 in an instant I went from living independently in Los Angeles and working to having to move back home with my parents, relying on others for life’s most basic tasks and unable to perform the job I had been doing. As you can imagine, not an easy pill to swallow and I will be the first to tell you that I didn’t handle it well. I was fortunate to have an amazingly strong support system in my family and friends and the comradery of Lesley and Eric whom I met on 6A. They were my rocks and even with their support, I was terrified and depressed. As I prepared to leave the hospital and start at outpatient therapy near my home I decided it was an opportunity to start fresh with a new therapist in a new program. I committed to attending five days per week and signed up to be there as long as they would have me each day. On my first day, I was prepared with goals and armed with a new attitude ready to take on my recovery. Of course, I still struggled some days and, honestly, I still do but when I wake up the next morning I allow myself a fresh start.
We have been through life altering, traumatic events often involving loved ones and changing the dynamics within our lives drastically. Are some of us maladjusted, are we depressed some days, do we sometimes take it out on others? Quite simply, yes. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be given the opportunity to change, to improve, to make a different choice. In fifteen years of living with this injury I have found that it can be difficult for people to let go of who you were and allow you to be something different.
Walk The Line is a business owned and operated by a family that lives with the reality of spinal cord injury. Because of this our team is empathetic, prepared to handle the ups and downs of our clients and ready to motivate at the time when our clients need it the most. A lot of pretty amazing things happen inside the walls of Walk The Line but perhaps one of the most amazing is the transformation some of our clients make when they are given a fresh start and encouraged to believe.
Meet The Team
Katrina Rader, AAS, PTA
Katrina graduated from Baker College of Allen Park with an Associate of Applied Science degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant in June of 2015. After completing her final clinical internship at Walk The Line, she officially joined the team in July of 2015.
“Over the past year and half I have made many transitions in life and in my career. I became a college graduate, a new employee, a home-owner, a Mrs., and the adopted mother a rescue puppy! Each of these new titles brought about their own changes and challenges. However, some of my most meaningful growth has occurred within the walls of Walk The Line. I am proud to be a part of a group of people, both staff and clients, that emphasize team-work and truly strive to make dreams come true. Being a part of the Walk The Line team means that no matter what else changes in life, I know that every day I will get to take home something positive and meaningful from the people that I have worked with.”
Katie Ameel, BA
Katie graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2005. Katie oversees accounts receivables and billing as a part of the Administrative Team and just celebrated her sixth year with Walk The Line.
“Having a background in psychology, I had always hoped to have a job where I could make a positive change in the lives of others. Even though I work in an administrative capacity at WTL, knowing that I work for a company that does so much for so many people leaves me feeling very fulfilled.”
My name is Monique Tyl, and I’ve been working out at Walk The Line since September of 2009. It’s hard to believe 7 years have gone by, but the progress I’ve gained during that time speaks for itself. I’ve improved in really all areas from tone management, coordination, strength, balance and walking. I’ve been extremely impressed by the team at Walk The Line who continually are dedicated to my individual function and have implemented creative yet sound physical training techniques. Thank you for your tenacity and dedication to constantly trying to solve the unique puzzle that surrounds my injury.
I was injured 20 years ago in a very freak car accident. A semi heading in the opposite direction on 275 lost a tandem wheel assembly that came barreling across the median and hit the back corner panel of my minivan that sent my vehicle rolling into the median. We landed upside down. My 18 month old son was found sitting in the median next to his car seat, unharmed. I’m convinced God had a protective hand involved in his safety. I, however sustained a C-5/6 spinal cord injury. Life changed in an instant at that moment, but my husband and four children became my motivation and focus to continue on to be as healthy and “normal” as possible. I consider my children, who are considerate, empathetic, faith filled, and successful adults my greatest accomplishment in the face of this unexpected adversity and my supportive husband, Craig, the greatest gift and blessing to me.
Yes, this injury changed life immensely, but looking back over the last 20 years, I didn’t miss any recitals, games, birthdays, graduations, weddings or vacations. This year we gained a grandson and found out our other daughter is having a boy in March! These grand babies truly are a light in my life. I’ve also come to know some incredible people here at WTL and many of my loyal caregivers, truly add to the enhancement of my life. On June 28, 1996 I wouldn’t have thought all that would be possible. My life’s “mishap” has taken me to a deeper level of faith and trust in God’s providence, and for that I’m thankful as well. I look forward to my next advancement and breakthrough at Walk The Line which together with my team’s help is just around the corner!
In the News
3rd Annual Field Event
Walk The Line To Sci Recovery – Southfield Campus – September 10, 2016
The Don’t Just Sit There Foundation in conjunction with Walk The Line held the 3rd Annual Field Day Event on the campus of Walk The Line at the Vanguard Center. Everyone participated in the DUNK TANK, OBSTACLE COURSE, LIP SYNCH BATTLE, WHEELCHAIR ART, TRIVIA TRACK AND A TRAINER vs TRAINER TUG OF WAR ALONG WITH ENJOYING LUNCH PROVIDED BY EL CHARRO FOOD TRUCK! Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped to make this another successful event for our clients, staff, friends and their families: QUALITY HOME MEDICAL, DIGNITAS, ALRIG, HEALTH PARTNERS, S&L TRANPSORTATION, CAPS REMODELING, ENTECH MEDICAL STAFFING, YOUR WELLNESS MASSAGE AND FEINBERG CONSULTING.
Biami 36th Annual Fall Conference
Lansing Center – Lansing, Mi – September 22 & 23, 2016
The BIAMI Annual Fall Conference was the largest in the history of this organization with over 1500 attendees and 157 exhibitors. The purpose of this annual event is to provide the most up to date information on brain injury, treatments and therapies in order to maximize recovery/rehabilitation and foster the best possible quality of life for individuals with brain injuries and their families.
Walk The Line was proud to have our Physical Therapist, Shruti Joshi, PT, MHS, CBIS present her highly acclaimed topic: EMPOWERMENT AS AN OUTCOME: CONVERTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE. Delving into the obstacles faced by individuals with life altering neurological conditions who often feel powerless and overwhelmed by medical professionals. This presentation offers insight into how the medical community can promote empowerment as an outcome in the recovery process along with providing strategies for implementation. The ultimate goal is to promote self-directed recovery. Keynote speakers of the 2-day event included Dr. Bennet Omalu and Ray Barcott.
Indego Exoskeleton – Demonstration
Walk the Line to SCI Recovery – Southfield Campus – October 13, 2016
The Indego® is a powered lower limb exoskeleton enabling people with spinal cord injuries to walk and participate in over-ground gait training. Walk The Line was able to provide this demonstration experience to 3 of our current clients along with our Head PT, Deb Sedore. This device has FDA approval.
This is the third exoskeletal device that has been demonstrated at Walk The Line. We continue to evaluate the recovery benefit of emerging technologies such as exoskeletons and are pleased to continue to offer state of the art technologies to our clients and staff.
Walk the Line SCI Recovery – Southfield Campus – October 25 – 31, 2016
Our COMMUNITY EVENTS GROUP LED BY CHRIS GRIFFIN and supported by the Don’t Just Sit There Foundation planned a 5 day event which included Cider & Donuts, Pizza Lunch and freshly popped Popcorn! Clients and staff were encouraged to participate in the Costume Contest. Photos were displayed of all the participants and we even voted for the winners! This was our 1st Halloween event and I’m sure this one will be continued each year!
MBIPC Learn Over Lunch
Schoolcraft College Vista Tech Center – Livonia, MI – November 8, 2016
Shruti Joshi PT, MHS, CBIS participated in this luncheon with her highly regarded presentation:
EMPOWERMENT AS AN OUTCOME: CONVERTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE.
Shruti’s hard work and dedication to offering a new way to view recovery/rehabilitation from a brain injury has opened new paths for those individuals struggling to overcome traditional obstacles along with providers who are committed to improving services to them and their families.
MPVA Salute to Veterans
Suburban Collection Showplace – Novi – November 11. 2016
Walk The Line is proud to again be included as a Sponsor and attendee in this annual event that recognizes all Veterans who have served and pays special tribute to those who have suffered the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Please see http://www.michiganpva.org/ for further info.
Thanks for Reading!
Over the past ten years, Walk The Line has become recognized as a world-leading program for recovery therapies. Our belief in the human spirit and perseverance fuel our desire and drive to be the best recovery facility in the world.