DREAMS OF HIKING AGAIN
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In 2009, Peter suffered a stroke that left him in a wheelchair and unable to walk more than a few steps at a time. Since starting his Kickstart journey, Peter has made incredible strides, such as walking into his favorite restaurant or boarding a plane (even the window seat) without a wheelchair for the first time since his stroke.
Read Peter's own words about how Kickstart has changed his life:
"I wasn't thinking as I climbed onto the rocks at the end of the northern Minnesota hiking trail that this would be my last hike. I wasn't thinking as I leaped up the couple steps to my favorite Chinese restaurant that it might the last time I could navigate myself into the restaurant at all. I wasn't thinking when I helped lug my step daughters' bags down the long dorm hall to her room that I had taken all of this for granted. Hiking, running, walking, standing. I hadn't thought about these abilities with any sort of meaning at all. Ever.
On November 1st, 2009 everything changed when I had a brain hemorrhage in the right hemisphere, leaving me paralyzed on my left side. In the first few months after my stroke, even simple things like staying in a sitting position without tipping over or getting to a standing position with the assistance of two aides, were immense struggles. Although I continued to work hard, walking in a pool three days a week where the buoyancy compensated for my body weight making the effort to practice tolerable. Walking on dry land again seemed out of reach though, as even a few painful steps left me exhausted and discouraged.
That's when I found Cadence Biomedical and the Kickstart brace. Within a few minutes of getting my new brace, the change was obvious. I could thrust my leg forward with relative ease and my stepping rhythm felt more natural. Now, the extra spring I get when I step with my left leg allows me to do more walking with less fatigue, which inspires me to walk even more. I’ve been able to go from taking a just a few steps with a hemi walker to walking hundreds of steps with a single point cane and at a much faster pace. With continued work I now have hope that I will be able to make the trek back out to the rocks at the end of the trail in Northern Minnesota again!"