Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund Donates $50,000 to Craig Hospital in 2010-11; Supports Many Individuals Recovering from Spinal Cord Injuries

April 26th, 2011

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -  The Darrell Gwynn Foundation has donated $50,000 to Craig Hospital through its Patient Assistance Fund in 2010-11 in an effort to SUPPORT individuals recovering from spinal cord injuries. In 2007, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation teamed up with Craig Hospital, one of the premier rehabilitation hospitals for patients with spinal cord injuries, to form the Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s Patient Assitance Fund. The Patient Assitance Fund was set up to alleviate some of the unforeseeable costs newly injured spinal cord victims inquire upon leaving the hospital. Many of the costs incurred are not luxury items but those things that spinal cord victims require to insure their quality of life.  

Below is a stewardship report provided by Craig Hospital on how the Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s first $25,000 donation in January 2010 has made an impact. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation recently donated another $25,000 to the fund.

Stewardship Report

Craig Hospital Foundation received a $25,000 grant in January 2010 to provide patient assistance to individuals and families in need of home modifications, equipment and vehicle adaptations.  This gift was extremely helpful to Craig Hospital since donations for all types of patient needs had decreased the year before due to the economy.  Additionally, patient needs increased for similar economic reasons as well as higher unemployment  rates.  This grant touched the lives of fifteen patients and their families. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation gave not only financial support, but also hope and encouragement during one of the most challenging times in these individuals’ lives. Some of their stories follow.

•    A young 21-year old woman from Wyoming received support  to have hand controls placed in her vehicle.  She became paralyzed because of Surfer’s Myelopathy while on vacation in Hawaii. She was an active college student on a basketball scholarship when injured. After the injury she decided to move to the Denver area to enroll in college classes and join the wheelchair chair basketball league. Because of the move, neither the Vocational Rehabilitation office in Colorado or Wyoming  could fund hand controls for her vehicle.

•    The family of a recendy injured 16-year old girl from Wyoming received partial support  from the Gwynn Fund for purchasing an accessible van.  She was injured while driving to feed her horse and swerved to miss a deer causing her truck to roll over.  In order to return to school and also participate in after­ school activities, her parents needed an accessible van for the family. The van was purchased with combined support  from two Foundations- Friends of Man and the Tonkin Foundation  in Wyoming- as well as the Darrell Gwynn Fund at Craig Hospital.  Her friends have all been trained to help with transfers in and out of the vehicle so that her parents who both have disabilities of their own, have additional support.

•    An 18-year old young man now living in Arizona with his aunt and uncle received support  to install hand controls in his vehicle.  He was injured in a motor vehicle accident the summer after high school graduation resulting in paraplegia. In Arizona, he would be attending community college and working part-time for a family business.  The Vocational Rehabilitation office had a waiting list that would delay any assistance with purchasing hand controls for 9-12 months.  The Fund helped this young man to independendy  drive himself to school and work right as soon as he started school and work.

•    A 25-year old woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident received partial support  from the Gwynn Fund to purchase and install a wheelchair lift in her van.  The injury resulted in disability where she now is living on a very limited income and her parents have incurred debt to assist her with medical care, home modifications and other needs.  The family could not take on another  financial burden to adapt their van.  The Gwynn Fund, combined with contributions  from other donors, covered the expense.

•    A 57-year old woman and her husband received support  to purchase building materials for home modifications.  She became paralyzed in an accident last summer but her home was not accessible in her manual wheelchair.  While she had a job to return to, she also had months  of no income, depleting all savings. The Home Builders Foundation  agreed to contribute labor to complete the work and the Gywnn Fund covered the cost of supplies.

The Darrell Gwynn Fund has become an essential part of the Patient Assistance Program at Craig Hospital.  So many families struggle financially after a catastrophic injury. There are new financial burdens and frequently significant gaps in personal income.  Expenses related to medical care, adaptive equipment, home modifications and much more begin to accumulate quickly. The Patient Assistance Program offers financial relief for some of these unexpected and often unaffordable costs that are essential to the future independence and life quality of Craig graduates.  The Darrell Gwynn Fund gave Craig patients support  for home modifications and accessible transportation options.  More than 30 individuals living independently in communities across the country today have been positively impacted by the fund since it was established at Craig Hospital in 2008.

About the Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Founded in 2002 by Champion Drag Racer Darrell Gwynn and his wife Lisa, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide AWARENESS, PREVENTION, SUPPORT and ultimately a CURE for paralysis. In an effort to create more awareness about spinal cord injuries, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation successfully lobbied for an established Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week with a resolution passed by the Florida Legislature in 2006. The foundation operates an Education & Prevention Program directed to high school students to educate them on the dangers of risky behavior that can lead to spinal cord injuries. This rapidly growing program reaches over 10,000 students annually at over 50 high schools. The foundation’s primary support program is its national Wheelchair Donation Program. With this program the Darrell Gwynn Foundation has donated custom built wheelchairs to hundreds of individuals in need. The foundation also maintains a model Patient Assistance Fund offering support services and tools at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado with aspirations to expand this model to several hospitals nationwide. The Paralyzed Assistance Fund also supports the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, at Halifax Hospital in Daytona, Fla. and Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. Additionally the foundation provides financial support through its Fast Track Laboratory with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis aimed at finding a cure for paralysis. With tremendous fundraising partners such as Barrett-Jackson, the NHRA, NASCAR and many more generous sponsors, individual supporters and donors, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation continues to evolve as a leading foundation for those with spinal cord injuries. For more information please visit www.darrellgwynnfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/darrellgwynnfoundation

-DGF-

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