Dear Friends, Family, and Community,
Our 22 year old son, James, was in a car accident December 21, 2014. He suffered a devastating C6 spinal cord injury. He is now quadriplegic, paralyzed from his chest down with limited use of his arms and hands.
Prior to his accident, James took a year off college to work full time to save money for school. He planned to return to Southern Illinois University Carbondale in January. James loves to fish, hunt, and camp, is an Eagle Scout, played Rugby at SIUC, and wrestled at Alton High, Missouri Military Academy, and Lindenwood U.
James is now at QLI in Omaha, NE for intense rehabilitation. QLI teaches people with catastrophic injuries to live again, not just to exist. James has met his challenge with unbelievable strength, courage, and determination. He is an inspiration to us all. Once he leaves QLI, he will still have a long road ahead of him.
The expenses of a spinal cord injury are astronomical. Even with insurance, there are many costs that are not covered. Some of these are home modifications, a handicap accessible vehicle, adaptive equipment, additional rehabilitative therapy, home health care, and much more.
To help with the financial burden of James’s uninsured expenses, a fundraising campaign in his honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a trusted nonprofit organization that has been providing community-based fundraising guidance to patients and their families for more than 30 years. All donations are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the North-Central Catastrophic Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only. Please consider a contribution. Click on the Donate Now button on this page to make a donation.
James is injured, but his spirit, dreams, and potential are alive and well. Your thoughts, prayers, and kindness have meant more than words can express. We appreciate all you have done and continue to do, and we thank you for your generosity.
Rick and Shellan Schwank
November 21, 2015
Come out to Cash Bash site to obtain ticket. No longer accepting ON LINE Tickets.
November 16, 2015
More news about the upcoming Cash Bash Fundraiser set for this Saturday, November 21st
November 10, 2015
Read the latest from The Telegraph about James and the upcoming Cash Bash Fundraiser on Saturday Nov. 21st
November 6, 2015
ONLY 2 WEEKS TO GO. GET ON BOARD FOR THE CASH BASH BOARD! TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE! TEAM SCHWANK
October 15, 2015
A LONG OVERDUE UPDATE:
Late May James had a setback and was hospitalized in Omaha for a few days. From there, he was able to transfer to Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, KY. Once discharged from Frazier’s acute care facility, he was admitted to their out-patient program. Frazier Institute is a Spinal Cord Injury Model System and is the lead clinic for the Christopher & Dana Reeve NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). James has been in a Locomotor Training research program, & is receiving intense physical & occupational therapy. He has seen results with increased trunk stability & has been working hard to restore more function to his hands. James is taking on-line courses through Lewis & Clark Community College & plans to return to college full-time.
He is facing considerable expenses with housing, still needs an accessible vehicle, & we continue to appeal our insurance company’s denial for a home Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike ($29,000), which his doctors are recommending, to restore use of his legs.
James remains very hopeful. His goal is to someday walk again, & to keep in excellent physical condition so that he will be a candidate for “the cure,” which researchers say is just around the corner.
We are so appreciative of the continued prayers, support, & monetary donations from the community, which will allow James to achieve his desire to remain a healthy productive member of society.
We have an awesome committee chaired by Maureen McIntosh & Julie Dooley, which is planning a really fun fundraiser on Nov 21st. Please spread the word on this Cash Bash fundraiser far & wide.
We remain eternally grateful,
Rick & Shellan Schwank
June 13, 2015
Wow, lots to share! James had a medical emergency on 5/27/15, which landed him in the hospital in Omaha. He is doing well now.
Instead of discharging back to QLI in Omaha, he transferred to the Frazier Rehab Institute Hospital in Louisville, KY. Once discharged from Frazier acute care, he will attend Frazier’s out-patient therapy program. James will be staying in Louisville for the months he is in therapy. Our family will take turns staying with him and providing any assistance he may need.
Frazier is the lead clinic for the Christopher and Dana Reeves NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). This a very BIG DEAL that he will be in therapy there! There is so much research, expertise, and cutting edge technology happening in the NRN. We have all of you to thank for your prayers, kind gestures, and generous monetary donations. It is no accident that James has this marvelous opportunity.
We will need to pay for him to stay in an extended stay hotel for 4-5 months while in therapy. Also, we are still appealing to our insurance company to pay for the Standing Frame and FES Cycle (Functional Electrical Stimulation) that he will need at home. Just the FES Cycle alone is $29,000.
Please continue to spread the word to your friends through emails and other social networking that if they would like to make a contribution, please do so. We appreciate all donations, large and small.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, thank you, thank you…
Rick and Shellan
May 7, 2015
Rick and I are heading to QLI in Omaha this afternoon. We will attend a Team Meeting and hear details on James’ progress. Will report back to you all soon.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all!
April 17, 2015
Many thanks to the Omaha Healing Touch Community including Mikki Allen CHTP, Deb Determan CHTP, and Kara Glynn HT Apprentice, who have been providing Healing Touch therapy to James since his arrival at QLI. HT has kept James balanced and positive throughout his recovery.
For more info on Healing Touch, go to www.healingbeyondborders.org.
April 17, 2015
Please see the photo albums below for new pics of James recovery. Shellan (Mom) will be adding new pics regularly.
April 15, 2015
Easter weekend, James reported that he can wiggle his right 2nd and 3rd fingers about 1/2 and inch. That’s new- that’s progress!
James has been training hard in therapy to transfer from his wheel chair into a car seat, his bed, or another chair. He accomplishes this with the use of a slide board. It takes lots of strength and focus to maintain trunk stability during the transfer to prevent falling. He is getting quite good at it, as long as he is transferring to the same level.
Please pray that function will continue to return.
Thank you everyone for your care and support,
April 13, 2015
Thank you Julie Dooley, who put together an on-line T-shirt fundraiser beginning 4/11/15 and ending 4/29/15. To order go to www.booster.com and search James Schwank. (See “Fundraising Activities to the right.}
If you don’t need another T-shirt a donation to www.helpHOPELive will be much appreciated.
Photo Galleries (2)
November 4, 2015
Stay strong, James! Keeping you in our thoughts & prayers.
Dr. & Mrs, Dan Alyea
October 28, 2015
James, You are one of the strongest people who I know my buddy! Keep fighting and don't give up. You have inspired many people in cluding myself. Love ya!
October 17, 2015
James, Keep up the good work! Never give up! Prayers for you always.
Mary and Steve Borchers
June 14, 2015
Hi James, you sure get around! il,.Mo., Ne, and now Ky! Thinking of you, and in our prayers. Fly like Superman. I love all your cool T-shirts.
Linda,Shellan and Walt
May 21, 2015
Hi James, I'm sending donations on behalf of Trevor Kleinschnittger and Zach Hausman. They both wish you the best and hope to see you back home very soon. And, as always we do too.
May 4, 2015
James,Shellan and Rick our thoughts and prayers for strength,patience and a full recovery. May God be with you all
Mickey and Linda
April 30, 2015
James- hang in there!!! We know you can do anything you put your mind to do.....remember selling your dad's beer to the neighborhood. Love and prayers to you and the family.
Debbie & Peter Osborne
April 28, 2015
Wishing all the Schwanks all the best. Your journey is in our thoughts.
Gary and Joanne Kropf
April 23, 2015
What's up man, this donation is being made on behalf of The Tour de Carbondale. We missed you this semester but know that you were there in spirit. Keep up the strong work!
Tour de Carbondale
April 20, 2015
HI James, This donation is made on behalf of Mike and Mary Lawhon. They are friends of ours and members of The Alton Motor Boat Club. They are also the people I mentioned that have the young relative at QLI with a similar injury as yours. Like everyone else, they wish you the best and quickest recovery possible.
April 18, 2015
Hi again, This donation is made on behalf of Brent Davis. He works with Steve's dad and wanted you to know he's got you in his thoughts and he's wishing the best.
April 18, 2015
Hi James, This donation was made on behalf of Sue Sidener who is a very good friend of mine. You have been and continue to be in everyone's thoughts. Looking forward to seeing you.
April 14, 2015
Hey James! Keep up that hard work! I have been where you're at. In 2006 I broke my C7 and went through rehab and the whole deal. I still use a chair and have had some experience, so if you ever just want to talk to someone who has been where you're at and has lived with a spinal cord injury for years, definitely get a hold of me! That goes for your folks, too! Any questions, any tips you want to know (even about how the hell you put on socks), just ask! You'll be in my thoughts! My heart really goes out to ya, brother. Here's my info: [email protected] 618-979-1088.
April 13, 2015
james You probably don't remember me. I worked with your dad at crucible. I remember picking him up in Florida and all you boys were having fun on the beach. Keep positive and work hard to learn from these lessons God puts our way. He obviously knows you are strong and is testing your will. You have great inner strength I am sure. Plan on making a trip to the UK.... I will show you the sites! Be strong yet flexible and focus on your goal. Thinking if you my friend and hope to see you soon! Keep posting those photos!
April 11, 2015
James, we've always admired your strength of character. Our love and prayers are with you as you meet all the challenges and celebrate the accomplishments ahead. Hope to visit with you soon.
Ed and Tamara Workman
April 10, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May each and everyday be bright with the light of hope for you. God is with you. Andy and Rosie Mogged, your cheesehead Wisconsin cousins. Love and Prayers go out to James.
Andy and Rosie Mogged
April 10, 2015
Keep the faith. You will make it!
Kirk and Natalie
April 10, 2015
You're a champ James! Love ya.
April 10, 2015
Thoughts and prayers are being sent your way from your cousins in Wisconsin. Always remember, God is good and he has a plan for all of us.
Cheryl and Al Mogged
Mail a Check
Make checks payable to:
Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of James Schwank
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087