“In the winter of 2001, while my wife Sharon and I were travelling over Snoqualmie Pass, we hit a patch of black ice and rolled our car off the road. In an instant, I sustained a C7-T1 spinal cord injury. I was airlifted back to Seattle where I spent eight grueling weeks in intensive care and in-patient rehabilitation. I worked hard learning how to transfer from my bed to my wheelchair and back again. I kept asking “Isn’t there anything else you can do to help me?”
I was told that unless I got movement back, there wasn’t anything else that could be done. Frustrated and alone, my family searched the Northwest for a facility that could provide more than a life of transferring in and out of a wheelchair.
In 2002 Sharon and I moved 2000 miles away from friends and family where we could piece together an aggressive exercise based recovery program, water therapy and electro-stimulation cycling. We travelled across Southern California to three different facilities, five days a week, for almost two years to create a comprehensive program. What we learned and the bonds we created with others in our same situation during this time healed me- healed us. I was able to take back the control of my life.
When we got back to the Northwest, we began to purchase the specialized equipment needed to continue my therapy. We met so many people that needed the same therapy as me, so Sharon and I decided to begin Pushing Boundaries, the Northwest’s first non-profit, exercise based therapy center. We believe that someone shouldn’t have to move away from their family and friends to have the same opportunity that we did.”
To date, people from all over the Northwest have benefited from Allan and Sharon’s efforts.
On November 11, 2011, Allan was taken from us much too soon. All of us at Pushing Boundaries will carry on the mission, vision and values Allan and Sharon envisioned for the Northwest.