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Dear Family and Friends,

As most of you already know our son Alex Torelli suffered a spinal cord injury following a ski accident on December 28, 2012. Alex’s spinal cord was completely severed between the T4 and T5 vertebrae and he is paralyzed from the chest down. Thankfully, he suffered no brain injury and is able to use his arms and hands. After surgery, Alex’s doctors told him that although his injury was permanent, he would learn once again to be independent and lead a very fulfilling life. Since then Alex has embraced the challenge through lots of hard work, new skills and knowledge.

Updates (1)

December 6, 2013

Dear Family, Friends and Supporters,

Almost a year has passed since my 20-year-old nephew, Alex Torelli, suffered a spinal cord injury from a traumatic ski accident. Last December, Alex’s spinal cord was completely severed between the T4 and T5 vertebrae and as a result, he is now paralyzed from the chest down. We were blessed that he suffered no brain injury. Alex has embraced this new life challenge with his positive and upbeat attitude. He is becoming more independent and looks forward to living a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Before his accident, Alex was an active young man, leading the typical busy life of a college student and was well known as an expert skier and varsity tennis player. Now, after spending eight months in medical and rehabilitation facilities we are so proud to share that he is back as a sophomore at Dickinson College. Alex’s goal is to continue to improve his overall health and life skills and his family is doing everything we can to help him achieve this goal.

But we can’t do it alone.

CDC statistics report that today a patient with a spinal cord injury will incur between $500,000 and $3 million dollars in uninsured expenses over their lifetime, with the first year expenses running over $985,000 and as much as $170,000 every subsequent year. Many of these expenses are not covered by insurance and must be paid out-of-pocket. At this time Alex needs a FES bike and a standing frame to help him continue building his strength which is crucial for him to remain independent and in good health. In addition Alex needs more rehabilitative therapy than his insurance will cover. This is where I am asking for your help.

To assist Alex with his equipment purchases and ongoing rehabilitation expenses, a fundraising campaign in his honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that began 30 years ago to assist the transplant community. In 2000, they expanded their mission to include those who have sustained a catastrophic injury. HelpHOPELive seeks to bridge the gap between what health insurance will pay and what is actually needed to heal, live and thrive. All contributions are tax deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Northeast Spinal Cord Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only. I encourage you to visit the HelpHOPELive website ( to learn more about this worthy organization and the support they provide.

Please help Alex realize his dream of an active, fulfilling and independent life by making an end of year tax-deductible contribution today. Your generosity will help Alex face his future with the tools he needs for success, and to remember it’s not about loss… but about life.

To help maximize donations, I encourage you to forward this to anyone who may also want to contribute AND please remember to check with your employer to see if they have a matching gift program. For all contributions, you can donate directly from this site or send in a check.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. On behalf of Alex and our family, thank you for your kindness, generosity and ongoing support.

All the best,

Sharon Kress
[email protected]


December 16, 2013

Hi Alex, We hope to see you all over Thanksgiving.

Love, Charleen

December 16, 2013

Alex, Being a bit of a luddite, I was slow to find you on Facebook. When I did, it was wonderful to see you looking strong and to know that you are back a school. I think of you and pray for you and your Mom, Dad and Leah all the time.