Our Blog

Gene’s Story-More Than A Client


As we approach the end of our 11th year of service and celebrate our second year in our Oakland home, we would like to sincerely thank you for your support. It is with your help that we are able to continue to provide workouts and resources to the paralysis community and were able to welcome 25 new clients into our program throughout 2018!

Our clients have amazing stories to share. We would like to tell you about Gene, who is paralyzed at the T10-T12 level due to a mass pressing on his spinal cord.

In 1995, Gene was running his own IT company with over 100 employees and caring for a family when he saw a doctor for pain in his back. Encouraged by family, he underwent an MRI which showed that Gene had a non-cancerous tumor pressing against his spinal cord. Doctors performed a laminectomy to remove portions of the growth, and after being “blasted with steroids,” Gene says he was up and running again.

Three years later, he began to lose his balance. The doctors removed more of the mass around Gene’s spinal cord, which brought relief – but only temporarily. Gene went on to have two more major operations, each time removing parts of the mass, and each time relieving his symptoms for a short while. After the third surgery, his doctors were reluctant to have another go. Gene discovered Push to Walk during his traditional rehabilitation and has been attending workouts since October 2013.

Gene is recently retired but has found many ways to fill his free time. He enjoys attending workouts at Push to Walk a couple of times a week, serving on Push to Walk’s Board, spending time with family and friends, and remaining involved with other non-profits who also work with those living with disabilities.

Gene enjoys the camaraderie of the clients at Push to Walk and the relationships he’s developed with the staff. A place where he feels he can “get a real workout” that is tailor-made for his condition, and with full attention on himself rather than having to split the trainer’s attention with other clients. He focuses on sit-ups on the Total Gym, cardio on the SciFit, walking, and strength exercises. This past year Gene has shared his newest improvement, which is the ability to now move his right foot. Something he was unable to do not too long ago. “Every area of the country needs this. What many people don’t understand is that, for people with mobility issues, maintaining our current level of fitness is itself a form of progress,” believes Gene.

Your gift can help Gene and so many others living with paralysis continue their journey toward greater strength, mobility, and independence. Our clients are so grateful to be able to exercise regularly which leads to better health and overall improvement in their quality of life but need your help to do so.

Help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 this year! Help us create success stories for all of our clients! Help those with paralysis live healthy and active lives!

A Little Push Goes A Long Way! Donate Today!

A very special thank you to all those who have already made a donation!
Happy Holidays!

Celebrate Giving Tuesday with PTW

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to harness the power of generosity to change lives. We see this power in action every day in our gym on the faces of our clients. The generosity of our many donors has enabled Push to Walk to provide specialized training that can help individuals with paralysis live more fulfilling lives.

Giving Tuesday gives us an opportunity to do more. Celebrated on Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the U.S. and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many individuals will focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Push to Walk is participating in #GivingTuesday on November 27 and we ask you to be part of it. Take a look at our videos by searching #PushUpsForPushToWalk or visiting our social media pages. Share them to raise awareness for our organization! Or do a few push-ups yourself and send us a video. Email it to slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

And please, donate what you can. Be part of this global giving movement.

Whatever you do, we assure you it will make a difference. Our clients work hard year-round to maintain their physical health and wellness. Your contribution to our unique individualized program of intensive exercise helps our clients regain the ability to do daily tasks that are usually taken for granted.

The staff, clients and board are deeply grateful for your support and we wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays.

13th Annual Working 2 Walk Science & Advocacy Symposium

Push to Walk staff members including Cynthia Templeton, Stephanie Lajam, Vivian Kiggins, David Dias, and Joseph Robbins will be leaving this week to attend the 13th Annual Working 2 Walk Science and Advocacy Symposium in Vancouver Canada.

The Working 2 Walk Symposium brings together consumers, scientists, and interested parties to discuss breakthroughs in the spinal cord injury (SCI) field and ongoing research to find more answers to help those living with SCI.

This conference is a great opportunity for Push to Walk to meet other organizations that also offer nontraditional, cutting edge methods of treatment. All sharing the goal of helping people to maintain and improve their physical health and wellbeing, and reduce secondary complications with the goal of living a more independent life.

An extra special treat for the attending Push to Walk staff will be hearing former Program Director, Tommy Sutor’s presentation, Acute Intermittent Hypoxia: A Scientific & Personal Odyssey. He will also participate in a panel discussion during the second day of the symposium.

Vivian Kiggins, Executive Director for Push to Walk stated “it is a privilege to be able to attend the conference and be able to meet some of the most prestigious individuals working on behalf of those with SCI. I look forward to sharing this experience with the Push to Walk community of staff members and clients when I return.”

1 2