Walk It Off has Been Chosen as a Donation Recipient!

fundraisers Walk it Off

Walk It Off has been chosen as a recipient of your donations! The Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will be kicking off another gift-wrapping service at Newmarket’s Upper Canada Mall from November 27-December 24. They will be located on the bottom floor near Santa’s Village.

For a donation, volunteers will help shoppers wrap their purchases until Dec. 24th. Proceeds benefit the following:

  • Newly proposed Southlake Regional Health Centre Hospice
  • Doane House Hospice
  • Belinda Place and,

Walk It Off staff will be participating throughout but you can catch us at the Mall en masse on December 16th and 17th from 6:30-9pm. Come out and say hello, get your gifts wrapped and support 4 great causes.

If you would like to volunteer your time and gift wrapping skills, please contact Carol by email by clicking here.

Don’t forget about our 6th Annual Scarf Auction going on right now until November 29th. 100% of proceeds go to Walk It Off to purchase mirrors. Visual feedback is an important component of our clients’ recovery process. Please click here to get more information on the bidding process.

As always we welcome your feedback and your questions. You can connect with us by email or telephone or leave a comment right here on the site. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and our YouTube Channel too and join in the conversation!

Happy Holidays and until next time,


6th Annual 2015 Walk It Off Scarf Auction

2015 WIO Scarf Auction

It’s the season you have all been waiting for – Scarf Season!… Time to accessorize or find that original and special present for someone who admires meaningful, personal gifts… Join us at our 6th Annual 2015 Walk it Off Scarf Auction. We have an array of custom, hand-knit/crocheted scarves/hats and other hand-made goodies, made by WALK IT OFF supporters. Each item comes with a Donation ‘Thank You’ card.

Hand-made items will appear on the Facebook Group “Walk It Off Scarf Auction” on November 20th at noon (12pmEST). You can view past years’ scarves by clicking here to get an idea of the variety and quality.

100% of proceeds go to Walk It Off to purchase mirrors. Visual feedback is an important component of our clients’ recovery process. Continue reading

Walk it Off Welcomes Two New Staff Members

 left to right Jennifer McGowan, Taylor Huehn

left to right Jennifer McGowan, Taylor Huehn

Walk It Off is pleased to welcome two new staff members to our team! We are happy to introduce our new Spinal Cord Injury Facility Assistant, Jennifer, and our newest Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Trainer, Taylor. We have been getting to know them over the past month and we think you will enjoy working with them as much as we do! Continue reading

Walk It Off Clients Participate in 2015 Parapan Am & Pan Am Activities

click to enlarge

Kevin Mills
click to enlarge

With the beginning of fall we get ready for a new season and reflect on the summer we just had. One of the highlights of this past summer must be the excitement from Toronto hosting the 2015 Parapan Am and Pan Am Games. The Parapan Am games were a great stage to demonstrate the abilities and talents of paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes from around the world. The Parapan Am games are a fantastic example of how different impairments, skill sets and competencies can be the winning combination for podium-placing performance. I think it’s fair to say that seeing athletes of all different abilities competing in many different sports caused a bit of “panamania” here at Walk It Off. From Canada placing second in overall medal count and our very own Anita Kaiser in the PanAm torch relay to Kevin Mills being asked to participate in the Parapan Am torch relay and complete a handcycling demonstration at McMaster University, it’s hard to not get excited about it! Continue reading

ICARE – Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

If you have been to or talked to anyone at Walk It Off in the past few months, you have probably heard about a new machine we are trying to purchase called the Madonna ICARE. But what is it? An Apple product sponsored by the ‘Like A Virgin’ singer? The Madonna ICARE actually stands for: Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical.

This piece of equipment differs from a typical gym elliptical machine by allowing individuals with varying disabilities the opportunity to stand and take strides safely. A harness is used to support the individual while increasing or decreasing the amount of weight that goes into the feet. The ICARE offers the option to exercise with different degrees of motor assistance. The ICARE can be used as a typical elliptical or set to move an individuals legs when the motor senses muscle fatigue. It can also be set in automatic mode for those with complete paralysis. Continue reading

Walk it Off Spinal Cord Recovery Centre Welcomes New Intern

spinal cord recovery centre york region

Hi! I’m Natalie. I am completing an internship for the summer as the new SCI Facility Assistant here at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre (WIO). My placement requirements are to help the SCI Recovery Trainers during sessions with the clients and assist with administrative duties.

I was born in Aurora and lived there until I was five years old when my family moved to New Hampshire, United States. I spent 10 years in New Hampshire growing up in the middle of the woods but still traveling back to Canada multiple times a year to visit my family. Then my family moved to Shanghai, China where I went to high school at an international school. In China I learned a lot about Asian culture, how to speak Mandarin, and traveled to four Southeast Asian countries plus Australia! Continue reading

FUN, FUN, FUNdraisers for Spinal Cord Recovery at Walk It Off

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Walk It Off is delighted to announce that over the upcoming months we will be hosting multiple fundraisers. As a not-for-profit organization, we depend on the generous support we receive from the community, groups and individuals during these fundraising events. Donations and funds raised go directly into subsidizing treatment cost for our members dealing with spinal cord injuries as well as into purchasing new equipment that is vital to our members’ recovery process. These generous donations are the reason we are able to continually improve our services and assist our clients on their path to recovery and wellness. Continue reading

Wheelchairs and Handcycle Racing – 7 Excellent Races

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Hello Everyone.  My name is Kevin Mills and I am the Supreme Chancellor :-) at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre. I thought it might be helpful to share with you 7 excellent races for those athletic individuals out there who are currently in wheelchairs. In February of 2009 I myself sustained a spinal cord injury when a wave drove me head-first into the sand while swimming in the ocean in Cuba.  I am a C 5/6 AIS A (quadriplegic).  I was a competitive middle distance runner in high school and I completed my first half marathon in October of 2008, a few months prior to my injury. Continue reading

Preventing Illness in those with Spinal Cord Injuries

preventing illness in spinal cord injury patientsDiet and nutrition play a large role in our body’s everyday functions and overall well being. We have heard sayings such as “healthy body, healthy mind” or “you are what you eat”. As cliché as those sayings may be, there is no denying the truth behind them. As is true with everyone, proper nutrition plays a large part in reducing the occurrence of health concerns or preventing illness particularly for those living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and more specifically, for those that are commonly related to the injury.

Diet and Prevention of UTI’s

One of the most common secondary health concerns regarding clients/patients with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are urinary tract infections (UTI’s). SCI clients/patients experience a heightened risk of developing UTI’s from the frequent need to perform intermittent catheterization to empty their bladders on a daily basis. The average incidence rate of UTI’s is 10.3 per 1000 catheterizations. Continue reading

The New Lift Walker for SCIs – Here at Walk it Off

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Here at the Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to challenge our clients. We have recently taken the plunge and invested in a number of new assistive devices and exercise equipment to get those of you with SCIs moving. Most notably, the New Liftwalker  is a revolutionary piece of equipment designed to get people in wheelchairs up on their feet and walking. The most exciting feature of this device is its safe and convenient ability to lift individuals directly from their wheelchair – no transfers required.

Like us, Charlie Guitierrez, the designer of the New Liftwalker, believes that individuals in wheelchairs might be able to learn to stand, take steps, or perhaps walk again if they are provided with the appropriate tools to do so. This device will provide another alternative to our already available standing options, allowing clients to weight bear and retrain motor pathways with the hopes of one day being able to walk again. Continue reading