Good News Stuff

Good News Fridays: Mallory Weggemann – The Journey of New Mobility

Geek Alabama Good News Fridays

On this Good News Fridays, I am going to talk about a Paralympian who is running a Indiegogo campaign to raise funds so she can walk again.  So far, this campaign has only raised around $18,000 of the $50,000 goal needed.  For a person who won gold in the 2012 London Paralympic games, that number should be higher!

Mallory Weggemann’s life turned upside down on January 21, 2008 when she walked into a medical clinic to receive an epidural injection for back pain, she never walked out.  She walked in a healthy 18-year-old girl full of life and hope for what her future would offer and instead of walking out that afternoon she was admitted to the hospital because she had lost all feeling and movement from her belly button down; she was paralyzed.

For months she was determined that she would walk again until all the sudden the reality set in that she was paralyzed and she would never walk again.  She dreamed of what it would be like to put one foot in front of the other again, what it would be like to be able to simply stand up, to walk into a room and see her loved ones eye to eye.  She has dreamed of that day for years and here she is over five years later and she is ready to make that dream a reality but she can’t do it alone; Mallory needs your help.

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Now over five years later, she has decided that it is time to beat the odds and redefine mobility.  When she was paralyzed doctors, society, and everything around her told her that she would have to learn to move about on four wheels and that was that, but that isn’t it, there are other options.  Options that allow her to stand up right, options that allow her to “walk” into a room and see her loved ones eye to eye for the first time in five years.  This is a dream that she has had for years but she has been fearful to chase.  She was diagnosed a T10 complete paraplegic (meaning she has no feeling or function from about her belly button down).   She has never thought it was possible for her to get up and walk again but she was wrong, she can and she will but she needs your help to do it.

Five years ago after she was paralyzed she created a dream, a dream of Paralympic Gold.  Mallory grew up a competitive swimmer, she actually started swimming competitively at the age of 7 and when she was paralyzed at 18 she thought her days of swimming were over.  Less than 4 months after her paralysis, she got back in the water and she created that dream, a dream that many said was impossible, until September 2, 2012 when she sat on the podium in London and saw our flag raised and heard the United States of America’s national anthem play as she was presented with her gold medal.  That day she put all the doubters to rest.  That day she had achieved a dream of her, but she didn’t do it alone.  She had a world of supporters behind her that allowed her to achieve that dream and this dream is very similar.

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She has had people tell her everything that she won’t do again, one of the most obvious is that she will never walk again, but they are wrong and this is her chance to prove that.  This is her chance to give other individuals the hope that they too can walk someday.  This is her chance to leave an impact, to make a difference and to change the world.  The Indiegogo campaign is for Mallory Weggemann to go to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and learn how to use what she does have in her upper body to move her legs forward.  She will be fitted with leg braces that will lock out her knee joints out and fix her ankles at 90 degrees and then she will use her core and upper body to “swing” her legs forward.  She will also be using either forearm crutches or a walker to stabilize herself.

Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover the costs.  In order for her to achieve this dream of new mobility, this dream of “walking” she will be relocating to Detroit for an extended period of time (at least 4 weeks) to work with the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.  In order to do this she needs to raise $50,000.  That money will go to cover the customized leg braces, the program costs (since her insurance doesn’t cover them) and costs associated with her stay in Detroit throughout this process.  She also wants to use any funds raised over $50,000 and help other individuals like herself so they too can afford to chase their dream of new mobility.  Even if that means it is just one other person.

This gold winning Paralympian deserves more support then she has gotten so far!  Mallory Weggemann has a dream to walk, but needs her help!  This Indiegogo project only has until October 1st to raise the $50,000 goal.  There are cool pledge levels including a thank you video, signed thank you, Skype call, inspirational book, having dinner with Mallory, and even spending a day with Mallory in Michigan!  I hope she can raise the $50,000 she needs!  Help her in making this dream come true for her and others out there like herself.  Help them enjoy the simplest joy of walking.

To learn more about Mallory Weggemann – Against All Odds – The Journey of New Mobility and to pledge money, go to: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mallory-weggemann-against-all-odds-the-journey-of-new-mobility.