Kennedy Krieger’s spinal cord injury center gives patients hope

Center has helped 2K in over 10 years gain independence

BALTIMORE —The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger is celebrating 10 years. In that time, the center has helped more than 2,000 patients make remarkable progress.

This includes, Marshall Garber, who has been in a wheelchair since a mass developed on his spine when he was 15. He came from Ohio for treatment and eventually moved to Baltimore.

“If you want to keep going and keep going on adventures and having fun, you have to keep trying,” Garber said. “This place has been hope from the beginning. I started here not knowing where I was going.

“It hasn’t been devastating thing. It’s been an enlightening thing. It’s been an experience. It’s given me insight to something I never would have thought.”>

Like hand-cycling, Garber has competed in five marathons with two more planned for this year. Incorporating sports has helped Garber achieve what he believes are miracles.

Garber has benefited with what the center calls Activity-Based Restorative Therapy. The center calls the therapy intense, but it works.

“It’s not that everyone that comes to our center leaves walking,” said Erin Michael with the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. “But they do leave doing something that someone along the way told them they wouldn’t do”

That is the case with Garber.

“I have the ability to stand and change a lightbulb,” Garber said. “That is so valuable when you don’t have that and now I can do it.”

Garber has also started to walk again. It is only a few steps, but Marshall said if there is anything the center has taught him, it is that anything is possible.

By Megan Pringle

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