Walking together again

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Walking together again

As a mother of a son in his twenties and a daughter in her thirties, through the years I have continued to learn the value of unconditional love, compassion and, of course, patience. Being a mother has always been incredibly fulfilling and at times a trying role for me. Life always comes with challenges, and when overnight your child is faced with a life-changing event, like my son, Anthony, went through, you realize what undying love means and how much you can really give to a person. 

On Feb. 6, 2010 at approximately 11:30 a.m., while in South Florida for the Super Bowl, my Anthony dove into Mi- ami Beach waters and didn’t come back up. He thought the water was deeper than it actually was, breaking his neck and bruising his C5 and C6 vertebrae. Thanks to his cousin, Bernie, who pulled him ashore, as well as to the medical personnel who acted swiftly, Anthony survived this life-threatening accident, but was now tragically paralyzed. 

The life-changing experience of helping him and being there for him as he learns to walk again has glued our family together in more ways than one. Not only am I his mother, but I have innately taken on the role of being his biggest cheerleader. We started working together on his therapy and bonded over some of the most crucial times of his life. Recovery from a spi- nal cord injury, or SCI, is costly and takes a lot of time, but it is possible. 

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We decided to create the Walking With Anthony Founda- tion to raise funds to provide financial assistance to individuals with SCI, expand rehabilitation centers, and support research relating to SCI recovery. We plan to do as much as we can to- gether to help those with SCI throughout the country. We are changing lives, one at a time!

Micki Purcell is the founder and president of Walking With  Anthony, which looks to forever change the recovery outcome of spinal cord injuries.