JOIN US NOV. 3 FOR MARY FREE BED'S 'THRIVE' REHABILITATION CELEBRATION

The Mary Free Bed Foundation is hosting "Thrive," its 2018 rehabilitation celebration to support programs, therapies and patient care that restores hope, freedom and independence. The Nov. 3 gala at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids will focus on raising funds for the hospital's pediatric cerebral palsy program.

The gala's featured guest is singer Johnny Manuel. The Flint native was a contestant last year on NBC's hugely popular "America's Got Talent" talent show competition. For his audition, Manuel performed Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," stunning judges. A video of his performance drew over 270 million views on Facebook. An audience favorite, Manuel advanced throughout Season 12 until bowing out in the semi-final.

Manuel's performance is among the highlights planned for the fifth-annual "ties and heels" gala, which includes a cocktail reception, dinner, program and dancing.
MARY'S THERAPY PLAYGROUND PROVIDES A FUN, HEALING SPACE FOR OUR YOUNGEST PATIENTS
Pediatric physical therapist Jennifer Kampfschulte and patient Makenzie Greer use play to work on therapy goals
 
A playground is a happy place where children can explore, learn and grow. At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, it's also a haven for healing, hope and freedom.
 
Mary's Therapy Playground is a joyful new space where the hospital's youngest patients can work on their rehabilitation goals in a safe, secure and accessible environment. The outdoor area was designed to support therapy disguised as play for children of all abilities.
 
"Our patients are kids, and kids play," said pediatric physical therapist Andrea Dennis. "This new space provides an opportunity for kids to be kids while working on their rehabilitation goals."
 
Located adjacent to the outpatient pediatric department, Mary's Therapy Playground features elements that are both fun and functional. Patients in Mary Free Bed's inpatient and outpatient programs with a range of diagnoses and abilities can work on cognitive, physical and social skills.
RECOVERY FROM RARE WEST NILE VIRUS A
LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY FOR AL WALCZAK:
'I JUST WANT TO LIVE'

Al Walczak always looks forward to warm days when he can putz around his backyard, walk along Millennium Park's winding trails and settle in on his front porch with his wife and dad to enjoy a beer while listening to the Detroit Tigers game on the radio.

But on one warm summer day in Grand Rapids last year, Al was bitten by a mosquito infected with the West Nile virus.
 
While most people don't get sick, about one in five develop a fever, headache, nausea or muscle aches. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 150 infected people develop life-threatening complications. That's what happened to Al.

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CAMPERS CONNECT AT JUNIOR WHEELCHAIR SPORTS CAMP

Nearly 60 campers from age 7 to 18 - one of the largest groups ever - shot baskets, swam, kayaked and played lacrosse during Mary Free Bed's annual Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp. The free, week-long event at Grand Valley State University promotes camaraderie and the thrill of competition to children and teens with physical disabilities who use a wheelchair.
 
Campers from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio were introduced to a variety of sports, including basketball, cheerleading, cycling, football, frisbee golf, handball, sled hockey, softball and tennis. The only wheelchair sports camp in Michigan also connects campers with kids who face similar challenges.

DONOR RAISES $10,000 WITH METROCRUISE FUNDRAISER
 
Nikki Veenstra is a car aficionado with a special place in her heart for Mary Free Bed. That's why she organized a fundraiser for the hospital during the annual 28th Street Metro Cruise. An employee of Fifth Third Bank, Nikki asked the manager of the Michael Avenue branch if she could use that lot to park cars and donate the fees to Mary Free Bed.
 
She's been doing it the past four years with the assistance of volunteers from Mary Free Bed and has raised $10,000. This year, the Aug. 25 fundraiser netted $3,025, the most ever.

Upcoming Events
  • Oct. 16: A Mary Mixer at One Trick Pony, fundraiser for the Stroke Rehabilitation Program
  • Oct. 27: Halloween for the Rest of Us parade (Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)
  • Nov 3: Mary Free Bed Foundation Gala (DeVos Place) 
  • Dec. 1-2: Mary Free Bed Invitational, Pacers Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (Mary Free Bed YMCA)
  • Jan. 12-13:  Keep up the Pace, Junior Pacers Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (Mary Free Bed YMCA) 
  • Mary Free Bed Tours  Join us for a tour of Mary Free Bed! Tours begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 10, Nov. 13, Dec. 12, Jan. 15, Feb. 13 and March 12. Reservations are required; email kelly.koerner@maryfreebed.com
Click here to see the full Mary Free Bed calendar of events.
 
Located at 136 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation | foundation@maryfreebed.com
235 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 616.840.8137
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