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NJ Devils Kenny Agostino Expresses Support for Paralysis Community and PTW


Put a few athletes in a room and they are likely to make a connection, even if one of them plays for the National Hockey League and the other is a former high school athlete who has been paralyzed for over a dozen years. This is what happened Wednesday when New Jersey Devils forward Kenny Agostino met Darren Templeton, one of the founders of Push to Walk (PTW), a non-profit organization that helps those with paralysis stay physically fit.

Darren sustained a C5 spinal cord injury after diving into shallow water at the New Jersey Shore in July 2004. He was 18 years old at the time and had played on his high school ice hockey team. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. Upon completing traditional rehabilitation therapy, Darren looked for a way to gain strength and improve his overall fitness. Traditional gyms in northern New Jersey could not accommodate his needs. As a result, he and his mother, Cynthia Templeton, founded PTW in 2007.

This specially-equipped wheelchair accessible gym has trainers who are certified in methods that have shown to work with people who have spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological mobility impairments.

Agostino, a New Jersey native who began playing for the Devils in March, visited the gym, located in Oakland, after learning that a former high school ice hockey player – and a devoted Devils’ fan – was one of the founders. His visit was eye-opening.

“The people who work out at Push to Walk are truly inspiring. They are among the most resilient individuals I have ever met. It’s clear that PTW is making a difference in their lives,” emphasizes Agostino, who supports the organization’s mission of helping individuals with spinal cord injuries and other forms of paralysis optimize their quality of life.

If you know of anyone who is struggling with mobility issues as a result of a spinal cord injury, stroke, MS, or other neurological condition, PTW can be a valuable resource. It’s not only a place where these individuals build their physical strength, but also a place where they build lifelong friendships. As a PTW Board member for the past five years, I have had the privilege of witnessing this firsthand. For more information, go to www.pushtowalknj.org or call (201) 644-7567.

Helene Kennedy
PTW Board Member

Crowd Rise Challenge: Please Help PTW Reach its Goal!

Push to Walk has been accepted to enter a Crowd Rise Challenge in hopes of being considered for a Gannett Grant. During the challenge we compete against other non-profit organizations to raise money and awareness. The challenge began earlier this week on March 18th and will continue through April 21st. Throughout the next four weeks we will be seeking donations to reach our goal of $6,000. We can also win weekly mini challenges based on total donations for the week.

We encourage all our clients, friends, and families to share the donation link so we can reach out to as many potential donors as possible. Money raised must go through the Crowd Rise link within the four weeks to be considered an eligible donation. At the end of the campaign, we must have at least $6,000 raised to be considered for a grant from the Gannett Foundation.

The Gannett Grant is a great opportunity to be considered for. Once the challenge is over, all the organizations competing will be evaluated by judges to choose recipients for the Gannett Grant itself. Your donation will help Push to Walk continue to help those with paralysis achieve their highest level of physical fitness in a positive and encouraging environment.

Donations will be accepted from March 18-April 21st. Please consider donating and sharing to spread the word! Any sized donation is appreciated.

Please visit Push to Walk's Crowd Rise page to make your donation and share for others to contribute.

Calling All Runners! Join Team Push to Walk at the shore on Sunday, April 28th

Jump to Tips for Runners/Handcyclists

We’ve reached the end of February now and it’s time to check if we’re all on track with those 2019 resolutions! Some of you may have resolved at the stroke of midnight to take better care of yourself, eat healthier, be more active, or be more philanthropic. Good news is we’ve got a way for you to incorporate quite a few of those into one activity! Team Push to Walk is in the process of forming and will be heading down to Long Branch, New Jersey to participate in the NJ Marathon, Marathon Relay, and Half Marathon again this year. The 2019 NJ Marathon marks 9 years of involvement for Push to Walk as a Charity Affiliate. The NovoNordisk NJ Marathon is one of the few races that allows non-profit organizations to raise money for their own cause and for that we are grateful. There’s 2 months to go until race day and we would be happy to have you join the 2019 Team Push to Walk. We ask that each member of Team Push to Walk commits to raising $500 on the organization’s behalf, but the good news is we provide you with all the necessary tools. If you’re interested in participating, either as a runner or handcyclist, visit the 2019 Team Push to Walk Fundraising Site, print out the application and send it to Stephanie Lajam. There are three race options to choose from:

  • Full Marathon= 26.2 miles all by yourself
  • Full Marathon 4-Person Relay= 26.2 miles split between you and 3 of your friends
    • Leg 1= 8.6 miles
    • Leg 2= 6.4 miles
    • Leg 3= 7.1 miles
    • Leg 4= 4.1 miles
  • Half Marathon= 13.1 miles all by yourself

From there you will be contacted and guided through the process of creating your personal fundraising page through the Push to Walk site. In the meantime, we will get you registered for the race of your choosing. Push to Walk will also provide race packet pickup and a team shirt to all members of Team Push to Walk. You focus on your training, sharing your fundraising page link, and showing up on Sunday, April 28th in Long Branch.

Check out our tips for any runners/handcyclists out there.
1. Get started. There is no time but the present!
2. Establish a goal. A race date is a great driving force for someone. May we recommend reaching out to Stephanie Lajam (slajam@pushtowalknj.org) and joining us at the NJ Marathon?
3. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is your training. This is your race. This is your goal.
4. Drink water & provide your body with the appropriate fuel.
5. Rest and recovery are essential parts of your training.

Any questions? Contact Stephanie at slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

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