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Reaching her goal one step at a time

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Most of the citizens of Barrhead and surrounding communities know the Preugschas family. Whether it was through their kids being involved in sports and 4-H, or through the family’s pig farm out in Bloomsbury, chances are you know them. On June 2, 1997, their world was changed forever. On their way home from a wedding in Minnesota, they were in a car accident. 18 year-old Nolan was killed, and 16 year-old Trina broke her neck and was paralyzed from the neck down.

Following the accident, Trina spent close to 4 months at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital where she underwent daily Physical Therapy. When she moved back home, her work continued. In addition to re-joining her class at Lorne Jenken High School, her rehabilitation progressed. She developed a home program and worked for several hours each day. One winter, Trina traveled to Edmonton daily for 4 months to partake in an experimental treadmill program. The Preugschas’ have even gone as far as Switzerland to work with equipment that is specially designed to recover spinal cord injuries. They purchased two of the machines for home use, and they have been well-used by Trina.

Immediately after Trina’s accident, the prognosis was grim. Doctor’s gave her low chances of ever walking again. But Trina was determined, and only used the prognosis to fuel her hard work. She nearly has the complete use of her right arm and hand. She can stand, take some steps with both legs, and can sit without a back rest.

In September 2006, Trina traveled to Carlsbad, California to attend Project Walk, a center which offers specialized therapy for people who have suffered a spinal cord injury. The program’s philosophy is that with hard work and a directed program, they can help individuals walk again. The program employs personal trainers who work one-on-one with patients for 2-3 hours daily. Muscle imbalances are diagnosed and corrected so the patients can achieve the best results. Trina spent almost 4 months in the program during her first visit, and in February of this year she returned to continue her hard work.

Unfortunately, attending this program is quite costly – approximately $10,000 per month. As Trina’s friends and family already know, attending Project Walk has truly been life-changing for her. We want to ensure that she achieves her goals and makes all the gains possible – but we need the help of the community. A fundraiser is being organized on Trina’s behalf, and is planned for Saturday, May 5th 2007 at the Barrhead Elementary School gym. Tickets, which are $30 each, include cocktails at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, a silent auction and dance/social at 9pm, can be purchased at McLean’s Distributors in Barrhead. Attire is semi-formal. Donations are also being accepted and can be done so by contacting Angela Hoyda at (780)-778-8455 or Unfortunately we are unable to write tax receipts because the money is being raised for an individual and not for a corporate organization.

Mayerthorpe Freelancer

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