After 13 years of therapy, Amber discovered Life Beyond Barriers Rehabilitation Group. At the time, she was working in marketing for a home care company. She didn’t need intensive rehabilitation, but stopped by at the request of someone she was helping at work. “You have to check this place out,” he said—so she did. After a few minutes inside, she asked herself, “Why on earth am I not here?”
Two weeks later, Amber was coming to Life Beyond Barriers Rehabilitation Group. “I’ll ever stop coming,” she says. “Some people ask why I’m still doing therapy. I tell them this place isn’t your typical therapy. They tailor a program to your abilities and really push you to be stronger—not just physically, but mentally, too.”
Kadi is the definition of positivity. Even after an injury took her full mobility, she kept a positive outlook on life. It’s been 12 years since coming through the Life Beyond Barriers Rehabilitation Group door for the first time, and her half-glass-full mentality hasn’t diminished a bit.
Therapy can be hard. It’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated. From seeing that side of things, Kadi appreciates that Life Beyond Barriers Rehabilitation Group is a place filled with forces of energy, laughter, smiles, and daily celebrations. “The positive atmosphere here is contagious,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like I’m going to therapy. It feels like I’m hanging out with friends.”
On October 2, 2008, Jeff was deer hunting with his brother. As he climbed into a tree stand, the unthinkable happened. The strap around the stand broke, and Jeff fell 20 feet. On the way down, Jeff’s chest hit a branch, sending him backwards, out of control.
Following a helicopter ride to the nearest hospital, Jeff spent hours in surgery. Once he awoke, Jeff was informed he had a crushed spine. Jeff’s life would change that day, but this wasn’t the end of a story. It was merely the beginning of a new one.
As he laid underwater, Cameron could only hope someone would come to his rescue. He had just dove into the ocean waves, like he had a thousand times before. Only this time, he hit a sand bar in the worst way. With his neck broken, he was unable to stand up.
This injury happened in the summer of 2007, while Cameron was spending time in Spain. There, he spent three weeks in a hospital before coming back to his hometown of Grand Rapids. A few weeks after, he began therapy.
Dave describes himself as the Energizer Bunny. “I go to sleep at midnight, wake up at 5am, and leave the house by 6:30am,” he says. “I do physical therapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy three times per week.” On the days Dave doesn’t drive 1.5 hours to and from Life Beyond Barriers Rehabilitation Group, he’s at the automotive plant where he works as a contract engineer—working hard and offering ideas on how to save costs. Stereotypically a person diagnosed with quadriplegia is not this active , but Dave’s drive is on another level.