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.

The additional bonus of the ICARE as an elliptical, is that gives a full body workout by allowing the user to hold the moving handlebars and coordinate the arms with the legs. The elliptical lends
itself to being smoother and has lower impact movement on the user’s joints than a treadmill. The ICARE emphasizes repetitive gait training and load bearing which is the core of our program.

We are very excited about bringing this new piece of equipment into the facility! We are certain that the ICARE will enhance Walk It Off member’s rehabilitation in many ways. Along with all the physical benefits, such as cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, it will also increase member’s autonomy and independence within their work out sessions. Our SCI Recovery Trainers are also very excited to be able to preserve their arms, hands and backs as manual gaittraining, such as on our Litegait Treadmill, requires a lot of physical effort to move clients through their steps.

Please take a moment to watch this video on Kevin’s trial on this amazing equipment!

We have raised $33,500 so far, for a down payment and must continue to raise another $27,000 to reach our goal of $60,500. We look forward to seeing our clients on it by Fall! Currently, the money raised from the annual Walk It Off Bonspiel, 5K Run-Walk-&-Roll and Tee It Up for Walk It Off golf tournament have been put towards purchasing the ICARE – so a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who participated and donated!

Additionally, a donation challenge has been put forth by Rob Wheeler, a Walk It Off believer. He has generously personally donated $1,000 towards to the ICARE and is putting forth a challenge to everyone reading. The challenge is for everyone to reach out to their companies, their organizations, their friends and family to come together and meet his personal donation!

Let’s all GET MOVING TO HELP OTHERS – GET MOVING!

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!

Until next time,

Heather

 

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!

spinal cord wellness centre york region

click image to enlarge

I just finished my first year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California where I am a kinesiology major. Once I finish my degree I plan to go to grad school to become a physical therapist.

I previously worked for Central Coast Hand Rehabilitation Center as an occupational therapy aide. There I learned how to properly assist therapists, interact with patients, and the ins and outs of running a medical office. I also volunteer with a club at my school called Polyfit. In Polyfit we run body composition tests on clients. I learned how to take blood pressure, skinfold tests, and how to use a hydrostatic tank.

Growing up I played softball, basketball, track and field, and swim. My main sport is volleyball. In college, I fell in love with long distance running and have done a half marathon, a sprint triathlon, and finished my first marathon in April! By this time next year I will hopefully have completed two more half marathons and an olympic distance triathlon.

Working at Walk It Off has been amazing so far. I am grateful that Walk It Off offers placement opportunities and accepts volunteers; I have the opportunity to learn about this industry and experience working with individuals with neurological disabilities.

Both the clients and staff are extremely friendly and helpful and I cannot wait to see what I learn in the future!

I look forward to meeting you at the Centre!  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!

Natalie
SCI Facility Assistant

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

Celebrating 3 Years at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery Wellness Centre!

27139389_sa copyOn Wednesday January 21, 2015, Walk It Off Spinal Cord Wellness Centre will be celebrating 3 years of operation, making a difference in the lives of people who have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). To showcase our achievements, we cordially invite you to attend our Open House on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015. Drop in from 12:00pm-5:00pm.

We would not be where we are today without the hard work and generosity of our many supporters. There are so many who have made Walk It Off what it is today; by volunteering their time, participating in our many fundraisers and many who have supported us with monetary donations. Our clients and their families make Walk It Off a unique environment. There is so much positivity and support which we see on a daily basis. We cannot forget the amazing group of SCI Recovery Trainers who have made the program such a success and made a difference in our clients’ recovery process. Continue reading

Olfactory Ensheathing Cells and Spinal Cord Recovery

Darek Fidyka
click to enlarge

In recent months, there has been a breakthrough in spinal cord injury recovery. Research has been looking into the possibility of injecting cells from other areas of the body into the site of injury to see if they can help repair and regenerate the injured cells of the Spinal Cord. Focus had been placed on stem cells for their ability to adapt and change into the cells of their surrounding environment. However, recently the focus has shifted to olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC). Continue reading

December Donations Discount Member Training/Therapy Fees at WIO

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

The holiday season is one for caring, sharing, and being with loved ones. For those of you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season, consider giving back and donate to Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre. For the month of December, all donations received will go directly towards discounting members’ training and therapy fees. 

Throughout the rest of the year, we put all of the donations received right back into the facility to help purchase new equipment to assist in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) recovery. This helps to subsidize the costs for individuals with spinal cord injuries who participate in SCI Recovery Training and Physiotherapy here. Continue reading

FUNDRAISERS, FUNDRAISERS, FUNDRAISERS!! – Benefiting Walk it Off this 2014

walk it off recovery fundraisingIt’s that time of year when we ask everyone to help us raise funds for our program here at Walk it Off Recovery. We are honoured to announce 3 fundraisers – all benefiting WIO this 2014 holiday season. Please mark your calendars for…

2014 Scarf Auction pic for fb1. 5th Annual Walk It Off Scarf Auction

As cooler weather approaches, so does the 5th Annual Walk It Off Scarf Auction Fundraiser – November 22-30, 2014! To ease into the season changes, think about adding a handmade goodie to your wardrobe to keep you or a loved one warm through the fall and winter. It’s also a great gift idea for the Holiday Season!

All of the proceeds from the auction go directly towards purchasing new equipment for Walk It Off. Continue reading