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Support from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Easterseals Eastern PA is proud to announce that it has received a $5,634 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 102 grants totaling $721,425 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

Easterseals Eastern PA will use the grant to purchase a new therapy table and supine stander for use in our outpatient therapy program at our center in Reading. More than 500 children receive outpatient therapy services at Easterseals and this puts an incredible strain on the organization’s equipment, especially the standers and therapy tables. The supine stander gives children who spend much of their time in a wheelchair or other adaptive seating the opportunity to be in a standing position, which can improve digestion, respiration and circulatory system function. Therapeutic positioning using a stander is extremely beneficial and greatly improves the quality of life. Through positioning, the body can naturally stabilize and align. This can help a child develop a full range of motion to better perform independent living activities, and it also prevents muscle contractures that make it much more difficult to stand and walk.

The therapy table is one of the most heavily used pieces of equipment at our Center. We use a mat table, which is a large, sturdy rehabilitation table used by physical therapists for patient rehabilitation. The new table is lower in height to allow easy access and has a weight-bearing strength of 600 pounds, providing a stable surface for manual techniques of stretching, joint manipulation and flexibility exercises to increase range of motion. Both pieces of equipment have been purchased and are already in use.

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Easterseals is honored to have received a grant from the Reeve Foundation. Competition for funding is always fierce, so we are grateful to have been selected as a recipient. According to the foundation, the grants awarded in this cycle were distributed among a wide variety of categories, including recreation, sports and leisure, advocacy, equipment and other independent living-related services. A significant number of projects focus on community re-integration initiatives such as assistive technology programs, home accessibility modifications, accessible transportation, and accessible playgrounds that create more community opportunities for those living with paralysis and their families.

“It’s important to find balance while filling the needs of the community, especially those living in underserved areas,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “People may live only a few blocks from an outstanding adaptive recreation program, but if they don’t have a ramp to get out of their homes or accessible transportation to get to that location, they can’t participate in the activity, and we really aren’t meeting the overall goal of this program. That’s why we examine every proposed project to see the impact it will have in the community, and try to determine how we can best help them reach their full potential.”

About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.

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