GIVING TUESDAY NOW! FUND A NEED! ANY SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED!
Today is #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of unity and giving to support causes impacted by COVID-19. I am one such “cause.” Living with a catastrophic injury (high-level spinal cord injury), I am used to some degree of social distancing and isolation, but this global pandemic has presented me with new challenges and accessibility/medical costs I cannot meet alone.
I remain hopeful. I have the most incredible community of support – if you’re reading this, chances are you’re a BIG part of it! In light of COVID-19, so many friends and family have reached out to see how I’m surviving and how they can help, and I’m so grateful. Those closest to me know that COVID-19 cancelled most of my plans for public fundraising events, it unfortunately did not cancel my need for non-insured state-of-the-art physical rehab interventions, non-covered dental costs, accessibility related equipment needs, and proactive healthcare supplies. I have a partially paralyzed diaphragm which means that my pre-existing conditions raises my susceptibility of side effects if I contract COVID-19. I have a higher vunernerability of the side effects.
– My need for non-covered Activity-Based Locomotive Exercise (ABLE) Program at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute = $35,000/year
– My physical therapy now takes place in my living room (which requires me to have access to specialized equipment such as Personal Physical Therapy Mat = $4,900 and Portable Electronic Ceiling Lift System = $4,400)
– Repair bridge/cap for fractured tooth caused by car accident 21 years ago = $500
– Replacing my 21-year-old Wheelchair Accessible Van = $50,000
– Personal Physical Therapy Mat = $4,900
– Portable Electronic Ceiling Lift System = $4,400
– Tefla Bandages = $350.40
– My medications and groceries must be delivered, sanitized, and stockpiled (just in case stricter stay-at-home orders are put in place)…can we talk about the high cost of cleaning supplies and Personal Protection Equipment (i.e. facemasks) for myself and my Personal Care Assistants?!
Day by day, like all of you, I’m adapting to this new normal and the new costs that come with it. If you have the capacity to give (tax-deductible donation) right now to help me over this next hurdle in my life journey to transform the way the world views those with disabilities, I would be forever humbled and grateful for your support. I’ve also listed a few of my most critical needs above just to give you an idea of what your donation to Help Hope Live could help pay for on my behalf. Again, I have had to postpone all prospects of public fundraising events for the foreseeable future due to the fact that with respects to having a partially paralyzed diaphragm I’m at a higher vulnerability of the risk and side effects associated with contracting COVID-19.
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Your Help Can Make the Difference!
My name is Colby Smith. For those who don’t know about my journey, please allow me a moment of your time to share a brief background.
At the age of 17, I was involved in a serious car accident which resulted in a fractured neck that caused a spinal cord injury and paralysis from the shoulders down. Eighteen years later, by the age of 35, I received my master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and an official certificate to be a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Despite my many accomplishments and my great life outlook, I face ongoing challenges to obtain my necessary therapies, continue achieving my career goals and, of great importance, maintain financial independence. Complicating matters further, recent calls for large cuts to Medicaid have put me in a stressed scramble. With all this in mind, I’ve isolated several areas on which to focus. The two most important are to invest in my physical health and to upgrade my wheelchair accessible vehicle to a newer, more reliable model.
Addressing my physical health, after five years of being on the waiting list for the ABLE program (Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise) at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, MN, I finally reached the top of the list. On July 13, 2017 I had my initial intake assessment. It was then that I (with some assistance) took my first steps in 19 years!!! I felt amazing both mentally and physically, with a few days of expected soreness from years of inactivity.
The ABLE program will result in increases in bone density, muscle mass/strength, cardiovascular health, diaphragm strength, bodily functions, and energy/stamina thus, improving my ability to achieve vocational goals. Fortunately, a scholarship will cover 80% of a 6-month arrangement. That leaves me with 20% out-of-pocket expenses that could range from $595 to $1360 per month. After those 6 months, coverage expires resulting in a yearly bill for $48,000! In addition, the purchase of a newer accessible vehicle which costs roughly $25,000. This is a financial challenge I cannot face alone.
To help with the financial burden of expected uninsured expenses, a fundraising campaign has been established in my honor with Help Hope Live, a trusted nonprofit organization that has been providing community-based fundraising guidance to help patients and families in need for more than 30 years. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law and are held by Help Hope Live in the North-Central Spinal Cord Injury Fund in my honor. Donations are allocated by Help Hope Live based on financial need for injury-related expenses. Please consider making a donation today.
For credit card contributions, please click the GIVE button.
I believe, life isn’t about having or regaining the ability to walk. Life is about mastering the art of transforming a disadvantage into an advantage. Your help can make the difference! If you can help in any way, I’d deeply appreciate it. Likewise, if you know anyone else who may be interested in helping, please feel free to share. Every little bit counts. Thank you in advance!
May 4, 2020
First steps after 18 years of paralysis related to high-level spinal cord injury!
March 8, 2018
This is me using the functional electrical stimulation bike to improve the muscle tone of my legs
March 8, 2018
This is me doing Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation to strengthen my back and core muscles in addition to reversing my spinal lordosis and scoliosis
March 8, 2018
This is me using the Giger exercise machine
October 3, 2017
My First Steps Since Becoming Paralyzed 19 Years Ago!!!
Photo Galleries (1)
March 9, 2018
You got this!
March 6, 2018
Help Colby , he’s fucking awesome
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Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of Colby Smith
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087