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$4,978 of $50,000
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55 donations

This fundraiser ended on 01/31/13

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The family and friends of Brittany Schramm are raising money to pay for a surgery that could give her back the ability to walk.

Before April 2012, Brittany Schramm was an athlete, a wife, and a mother of two young children. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed sports of all kinds including biking, swimming, and most off all, jogging. She competed in several half marathons, and in 2004 completed her first full marathon. But as committed as Brittany was to athletics, she was even more committed to her family. Brittany was utterly devoted to her husband Jeff, who had recently graduated from Parker College of Chiropractic, and as a couple they were completely dedicated to their 5-year-old daughter, Alexis, and 2-year-old- son, Jackson. As a young, but tightly-knit family, the Schramms enjoyed watching movies together, singing in the car, and taking bike rides to the park. Brittany loved her training, her family life was a joy, and with Jeff making plans to open his own clinic, life wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close.

Then, on April 7th, everything changed.

That Saturday morning began as any other. Brittany was in the middle of training for a triathlon, so like every other day, she woke up early to go for a swim. Later, she and Jeff hired a babysitter so the two of them could try out the mountain biking trails surrounding their Mesa home. The biking was beautiful and the day was perfect, until Brittany swerved and crashed into a large rock. The impact sent her flying over her handlebars, and she sailed headfirst into the mountain with enough force to put a dent in her helmet the size of an orange and change her life forever.

After an agonizing hour in the desert, Brittany was finally life-flighted to the trauma unit of a nearby hospital where doctor’s realized the gravity of her accident. An MRI showed that Brittany’s neck and back were broken, and her spinal cord was being severely compressed by her T2 and T3 vertebrae. After seven hours of surgery and two blood transfusions, Brittany was transferred to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit where doctors waited for signs of movement in her lower body. They didn’t come. Brittany was paralyzed from the chest down.

Somehow, amid the shock of this devastating news, Brittany knew she would walk again. At that moment, she committed herself to overcoming all odds and getting back on her feet.

Ten days after the accident, Brittany was at an inpatient rehabilitation center learning how to navigate life as a paraplegic. She had to re-learn how to dress, how to sit-up, how to roll over and get out of bed, and how to use a manual wheelchair. By all accounts, Brittany’s former life of running, biking, and wrestling with her kids was over. But, this wasn’t good enough for her. Brittany was committed to walking again no matter what it took.

Now, 7 months after the accident, Brittany has been blessed with an amazing opportunity. At a chiropractic seminar, Jeff learned about advancements in stem cell research, particularly in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. He heard a renowned spinal surgeon, Dr. William Smith, discuss a new technique which involves harvesting stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and surgically re-injecting them into the injured portion of the spinal cord. (Go here to learn more about the procedure and Dr. Smith’s facility: http://www.aimisspine.com/). The results have been extraordinary! Patients are re-gaining feeling and function in formerly paralyzed portions of their body. After a consultation with Dr. Smith, Brittany was deemed an excellent candidate for the surgery because she is young, healthy, and only recently injured. This procedure, in combination with intense physical therapy, could restore Brittany’s ability to walk.

This procedure is a godsend, but it is expensive and insurance won’t cover it. It is absolutely critical that Brittany get the surgery in the next six weeks (by Jan. 2013), while her injury is still relatively new.

This is where you can help. We are raising money to help pay for Brittany’s surgery so she can walk again. We need to raise $50,000 to cover the costs of the procedure, airfare, and the accompanying physical therapy. You can be instrumental in changing the life of this young mother and her family. Please help us give Brittany the chance to conquer the odds, rise up, and walk.

You can also visit www.brittanywalks.org to donate or visit http://onepushatatime.blogspot.com/ to stay updated on Brittany's progress.

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