Client Bios

Lori D.

Client Name: Lori D.

Hometown: Riverdale, NJ

Injury/Diagnosis Date: 02/28/01

Injury/Diagnosis: T11

Start Date: 12/28/07

Lori grew up in Bloomfield, NJ and graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders. While Lori was attending graduate school for Speech Language Pathology at William Paterson University, she became paralyzed at T-11 from Lyme disease. She was 24 years old.

After hospitalizations and rehab, Lori continued her education and received her graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2003. She married her husband Dan in 2007 at a ceremony in the Bahamas. Currently, she is employed by the Little Falls Board of Education as a Speech-Language Pathologist, working primarily with children who have autism in grades kindergarten through fourth grade.

Lori works hard at rehab, but she appreciates that successful workouts often incorporate a sense of humor. She has worked with many different trainers and therapists over the years, and feels now that she has more energy and is healthier and stronger as a result of her workouts at Push to Walk. Her immediate and extended family members have provided Lori with an incredible amount of support, especially her husband! She says that “words of thanks are not enough for all those who have helped me on this journey.” They have been her light, hope and strength. God and prayer have also helped her.

Appreciating the small and new things in life every single day has helped Lori accept the fact that she uses a wheelchair. She does not see herself as a handicapped person, but a person who uses a wheelchair. She says she is “handiCAPABLE!” She doesn’t take a day for granted and doesn’t look at things as can’t and how.

Lori did want to drive, but did not want to drive a van. After completing her driving lessons at Kessler, she traveled to Toronto, Canada to have her Volkwagen Jetta modified for her wheelchair. A robotic arm is installed in the truck and helps get the wheelchair to and from the driver’s side door so Lori can transfer into and out of the car. The automated system has enabled Lori to be completely independent while traveling to and from her destinations. She likes to go shopping and out with friends in her free time.

Push to Walk workouts include all the basic components (active range of motion, Total Gym, standing, etc) plus Lori uses the FES bike, standing frame and hand bike. She exercises on her own as well, and learned to swim with the help of a physical therapist who specializes in aqua therapy. Lori also participated in a bone density study at KMRREC (Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation part of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange, NJ).

Videos of Lori’s Progress: