Letter From the Director

Dr. Cristina Sadowsky

The last several months have been extremely busy at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI). We created clinical care options for patients, opened our third location, published innovative research papers and shared our evidence-based treatment knowledge with other rehab professionals. You can read more about these and other updates in this issue of our newsletter.

I have to say: “Wow, what a grand opening!” We had a wonderful time showing off our new space to patients, donors and supporters. A special thanks to the Robert I. Schattner Foundation, Inc., which provided funding to make this dream a reality!

I would like to give a special shoutout to one prolific individual for his fundraising efforts! As of this year, Jerry Sersen has raised more than $100,000 in donations for Team Kennedy Krieger. Read more about Jerry’s dedication and the generosity of his donors in this issue!

Sit back and read more about the activities of the ICSCI. I hope your holidays are filled with good fortune and blessings, today and throughout the new year.

Best wishes,
Cristina Sadowsky
Clinical Director
International Center for Spinal Cord Injury

White Marsh Grand Opening

A room of grand opening attendees watch as a boy swings a foam baseball bat while using the a ZeroG 3D support system.

Almost 100 people kicked off the official opening of the third location of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury in November. The center, located north of Baltimore City, offers countless “firsts” for innovative technology and equipment centered around our motto, “Hope Through Motion.”

The new 13,365-square-foot center offers the world’s first installation of the ZeroG 3D, a three-dimensional body-weight support system. The system allows patients to work on gait, balance and functional activities through its dynamic body-weight support and fall protection. The ZeroG 3D’s 500-square-foot workspace lets users step in any direction, making it ideal for simulating real-world scenarios, including the navigation of a kitchen or laundry room.

In addition to the ZeroG 3D, the center also has a therapy pool and many other innovative therapeutic rehabilitation equipment.

Elected officials, Kennedy Krieger Board of Directors members, patients and their families, and donors attended the location’s grand opening to see their dream of a northern Maryland location become a reality.

Enjoy some photos from the event by clicking here.

Baltimore Running Festival Recap

Team Kennedy Krieger poses for a photo during the Baltimore Running Festival.

We had an incredible time cheering on our Team Kennedy Krieger athletes at this year’s Baltimore Running Festival. Congratulations to those who participated, and thank you to all who supported and helped us raise much-needed funds for adaptive sports and recreation opportunities.

There were numerous amazing stories and special people who came out to this event. Six months ago, Eileen sustained an injury that left her unable to walk or feel her legs. At the Baltimore Running Festival, she ran and walked the 5K as part of Team Kennedy Krieger!

Click here to watch Eileen talk to WBAL-TV about her recovery at our center and what completing the 5K meant to her.

We also want to give a special shoutout and thank-you to one of the most dedicated members of Team Kennedy Krieger! Jerry Sersen has been an active participant in the Baltimore Running Festival since we started Team Kennedy Krieger 12 years ago, and this year, he was our oldest team participant. Not only does Jerry serve as a role model for all of us, but he has also been our lead fundraiser, reaching the $100,000 mark this year! The funds raised by Jerry and others will go toward the purchase of new therapy equipment for patients at Kennedy Krieger Institute, scholarships for our wellness center and increased adaptive sporting opportunities.

Adaptive Sports

Team Kennedy Krieger hand cyclists at the starting line of the 2023 Baltimore Running Festival.

We have been busy in our Adaptive Sports Program throughout the past few months, with many activities and accomplishments. We are excited to announce that the Maryland Thunder Wheelchair Lacrosse team finished third in the national championship! In addition, Mike Looney and Harsh Thakkar were named to the Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA) All-Tournament Team, and Dometreis Dixon was named WLUSA All-Tournament Rookie of the Year. Congratulations to them and the entire team for a great season!

Here are some of our other fall activities:

  • We hosted a successful adaptive bike clinic provided by Strokes Fighting Spokes and Lancaster Recumbent.
  • Our handcycling team competed in the Baltimore Running Festival marathon. Adrien Burnett and Ryan Wills battled it out down to the finish line for second place. 
  • We finished our season with another successful fishing trip! 

We have a number of activities coming up in the next few months, including:

  • Bowling
  • Rock climbing
  • Ski day at Liberty Mountain Resort
  • Adaptive Sports and Recreation Resource Fair

Watch our website for more information about dates and times for these events.

Contact us: Please email AdaptiveSports@KennedyKrieger.org with any questions or for more information on a specific program or opportunity.

Follow us! Join our Adaptive Sports Facebook Group by searching for “Team Kennedy Krieger Adaptive Sports” on Facebook. Request to join by answering the questions and acknowledging the group’s rules. You can also follow us on Instagram at: @TeamKennedyKrieger

Not interested in competitive adaptive sports? Feel free to join anyway and participate in noncompetitive adaptive recreational activities, learn about what Team Kennedy Krieger is up to, and discover more about how to get involved.

Recent Publications

  1. Instructional Course: Activity-Based Rehabilitation Considerations for Children: Medical and Therapeutic Perspectives at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine on October 28, 2023 by Elizabeth Williams, PT, DPT; Brooke Reeves, OTR/L, OTD; Becca Martin, OTR/L, OTD; and Cristina Sadowsky, MD
  2. Instructional Course: Respiratory Insufficiency/Failure Management in Pediatric Population With Paralysis at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine on October 28, 2023 by Cristina L. Sadowsky, MD; Philippines Cabahug, MD; Kristen Chao, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS; Katie Cooper, OTR/L, CPAM; Janet M. Dean, MS, RN, CRRN, CRNP; Michelle E. Melicosta, MD, MPH; Jacqueline Newman, MS, CCLS; Dana Wanyo, MA-CCC/SLP, CBIS; and Kofi Anoh, RRT-NPS
  3. Poster Presentation: Clinical Utility of Repeated Rounds of Acute Intermittent Hypoxia as a Component of Activity-Based Restorative Therapy to Improve Gait in Individuals With Motor Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Case Series at the International Spinal Cord Society on October 8–11, 2023 by Cristina Sadowsky, MD; Katherine Ellis, PT, DPT, ATP, PCS; Kathleen Bailey, PT, DPT; and Christopher Bettwy, PT, DPT
  4. Poster Presentation: Surgical Reconstruction of the Upper Limb in Tetraplegia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Evaluation and Management at the Tetrahand World Conference on November 8–11, 2023 by Danielle Wilt, OTR/L, OTD; Christina Mirsch, MS, OTR/L; Philippines Cabahug, MD; and Sami Tuffaha, MD
  5. Classroom Instruction/Lecture: Pediatric Spinal Cord Injuries and Acute Flaccid Myelitis at a Towson University Occupational Therapy class on October 10, 2023 by Kaitlin Hagen, MOT, OTR/L
  6. Poster Presentation: Effect of Supervised Resistance Training on Aging Women With and Without Spinal Cord-Related Dysfunction: Case Study at the International Spinal Cord Society on October 8–11, 2023 by Kevin Hentz, MS, CSCS; and Cristina Sadowsky, MD
  7. Poster Presentation: Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation With Novel Electrode Array Improves Walking in a Patient With Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury at the International Spinal Cord Society 2023: October 8–11, 2023, and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine 2023: October 30–November 2, 2023 by Lia Brunn, OTR/L, OTD; Elizabeth Neighbors, PT, DPT; and Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD
  8. Poster Presentation: Understanding the Neuromotor Mechanisms of Improved Gait Function After TSS at the International Spinal Cord Society on October 8–11, 2023 by Agostina Casamento-Moran, PhD; Lia Brunn, OTR/L, OTD; and Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD

Personal Training Options Expand to Include White Marsh Location

A woman sitting in a wheelchair rests a medicine ball in her lap during a personal training session with her therapist.

The opening of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury’s third location, in White Marsh, allows us to expand personal training through specialized equipment, which is perfect for individuals with spinal cord injuries and mobility concerns. The location provides a light, bright warehouse-style feel with plenty of room, and is unlike a traditional gym. All training sessions are supervised by a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, who provide each client with an exercise program tailored to their individual goals.

Personal training may be of particular benefit to those wishing to:

  • Supplement physical therapy and home exercise programs
  • Benefit from the oversight of a certified trainer while exercising
  • Improve overall quality of life
  • Increase functional fitness
  • Reach weight-loss goals
  • Grow strength
  • Participate in a wellness exercise program

Before personal training sessions may begin, a medical evaluation by physicians at Kennedy Krieger Institute is required.

Send an email to Hentz@KennedyKrieger.org for more information about personal training and open gyms at our White Marsh and Maple Lawn locations.

To learn more about these programs at our Baltimore location, send an email to ICSCI_Personal_Training@KennedyKrieger.org or call 443-923-4321. To learn about our wellness program at Baltimore, reach out to DeGrossD@KennedyKrieger.org or call 443-923-7950.

HOPE shirts: Now Online

Each month, we will be selling different color Hope through Motion shirts at www.kennedykrieger.org/HOPEshirts.

QR code to order Hope Through Motion shirts online.

Proceeds go to the HOPE fund, supporting patients in accessing essential care and assistance. If you need more information, reach out to ICSCInews@kennedykrieger.org.

Your Support

Thank you to all who have participated in our fundraising efforts this year! We are incredibly grateful for your support. Your gifts help us maintain the best equipment and technology possible, conduct groundbreaking research, expand our services to new locations and support our patients and their families with items not covered by insurance.

If you have not yet made a gift this year, we would love your support! Visit KennedyKrieger.org/ICSCIFund to make a tax-deductible gift. If you would like to learn more about how you can support the ICSCI, contact Jen Doyle in the Office of Philanthropy at DoyleJ@KennedyKrieger.org or 443-923-4324.

Thank you, and have a happy holiday season!