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Dear Family and Friends,

In late September 2011 my daughter, Mary Ruth, was driving a horse-drawn hay wagon when part of the wagon failed and she was run over. Mary suffered severe damage to her spine and is paralyzed from the waist down. She has been through several surgeries and is hoping to begin rehabilitation therapy at University of Michigan Medical Center. Her survival and recovery are the result of her incredible tenacity, hard work, resolve, the dedicated doctors and nurses, the prayers and support of family and friends.

Updates (1)

August 2, 2017

Hello All!

Thank you so much for visiting or re-visiting this site! It has been almost 6 years since my injury and I'm doing very well! I'm employed full-time with the Forest Service, I am a homeowner in Oak Creek, CO and I spend my summers camping and enjoying the warmth and my winters downhill skiing at Steamboat (video linked below if you're curious)!

My current and most exciting life-development is prepping to get a service dog! Currently my trainer at Paws in Hand Canine Consulting has a dog in training and I'm very excited to see her progression! We are estimating a September placement, which is very soon! My dog will be trained to pull me in my wheelchair, help open doors by tugging, help me transport items by either carrying in her vest or tugging larger items, and even help keep my legs warm by laying near them! This would allow me to get around my new hometown independently, be less fatigued at the end of the day and have more energy for my job and all the cool activities I get to do out here!

At this point I need to raise at least $6,000 for the, training, care and boarding that she is currently enrolled in. Any help that you can donate would be going toward a wonderful, loving partnership!

Please check out Paws in Hand's Fb page and website for some cool updates on all the dogs they have in training!

P.S. If you all are feeling extra generous, any extra funds will be put towards the next step in adapting to my Colorado lifestyle, outfitting a new truck with hand controls and a wheelchair lift! But first adventure is getting a service dog!


September 28, 2017

Mary remains an inspiration to many of the staff at U of M, myself included. She has overcome so many obstacles in this difficult path. Obstacles is an odd word, for Mary there are no obstacles she will find a way around, over, under or flat out right through. Nothing stops this amazing young lady. Go Mary!!

Joan Cupp

September 18, 2017

Dear Mary, so happy for you and all your miraculous accomplishments! Carmen is one lucky pup to get you as much as you are to get her. We would love to see you and meet her next time you're in Michigan.
Much love,

the Gaffkes and Grandma Doris

September 14, 2017

Hi Mary. I am a friend of your mom and sister Margaret. We met once briefly at a volleyball game in Ann Arbor. My daughter Josie
and Margaret are friends too. Your mom told me about you and all you have accomplished. I admire your independence and your skiing video is awesome! All the very best with your new service dog.

Janine Chey