SCI CAN provides rehabilitation hope for many
Chris Norton (‘14), and his foundation SCI CAN will host a bike/walk/run fundraiser for new therapy equipment for the Winneshiek Medical Center on September 30.
The event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the new Decorah bike trail with stations for food, t-shirts and music at Wal-Mart, the Fish Hatchery and the Winneshiek Medical Center.
SCI CAN (Spinal Cord Injury Christopher Anderson Norton) is a not-for-profit organization started by Norton to aid individuals who are recovering from spinal cord injuries.
“We’re hoping to raise around $25,000 and are going to have a raffle that will give away prizes like a new bike, concert tickets, gift cards and tons of Luther apparel,” Norton said.
As SCI CAN’s first major event draws near, Norton is already looking forward to an even bigger goal for the organization.
“We have an overall goal of opening the first ever neuro-recovery center,” Norton said. “There are cancer centers all over the U.S. that allow patients to stay during recovery, but none for patients recovering from neurological trauma.”
Norton’s experiences recovering from a 2012 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed have shown him many of the obstacles patients are forced to overcome; obstacles he hopes to eliminate.
“Mayo Clinic has a great facility with the right equipment to keep a patient’s recovery progress going, but outside of Mayo, most places lack proper outpatient care,” Norton said.
Due to the fact that Norton was covered by NCAA’s medical insurance, most of his therapy is paid for as well as the equipment he has at home.
“The NCAA even paid for my RT300 bike, which is what the money will be going to from this event,” Norton said.
Not all patients, however, receive the same level of coverage that Norton has seen.
“After the money runs out, most people’s recoveries simply plateau,” Norton said.
This bike, however, allows patients who are partially paralyzed to work muscles to prevent atrophy while at the same time sending signals to the brain to help repair damaged nerves. It will be available to anyone who needs it.
To promote SCI CAN’s event, Culver’s restaurant will donate 10% of all proceeds collected on Sept. 27 to the cause.
Following the day’s festivities Norton will speak at 4:15 p.m. on behalf of SCI CAN.