I knew Daniele was going to be a great fit for my son, Ben, the moment they met. After brief introductions, she asked me what I wanted to see him achieve, then promptly put him to work and started pushing his limits as we talked. Ben was at Project Walk to make progress in his recovery from a rare neuroimmune disorder called AFM, and that was clearly going to be Daniele’s primary focus.
The progress that Ben has made in less than a year with Daniele is beyond my expectations. As I have watched him transform from a shy, but friendly 18-month old into strong, but stubborn 2½-year old, I have also been fortunate to experience Daniele’s incredible patience, flexibility, and creativity. She somehow manages to balance an unwavering work ethic with a goofy, fun exuberance that opened a door for her into Ben’s heart.
Daniele has helped both Ben and his parents realize what is possible when you match the right people, tools, and attitudes. I cannot wait to see where she takes us from here and how much further he gets with each session.
My name is Alexandria Teixeira I am twenty-four, my daughter is four years old. In December of 2014 I was in an accident that left me paralyzed from the neck down and I suffered a C4 C5 spinal cord injury. This left me unable to move any of my limbs. During my four months of rehab all of my doctors and therapists said I would never be able to move again. They prepared me to drive my wheelchair operated by my head movements. That was not enough for me. Through endless research I found Victoria Arlen who inspired me and led me to Project Walk Boston.
In March of 2015, I went to Project Walk barely being able to hold my head up and having no movement in my body. During my evaluation there the Project Walk team asked me what my goals are. Imaging that, a rehabilitation facility asking and not telling me what my goals are! That very moment I knew I found my new home, my new extended family. I excitedly told the team that one of my first and most important goals was to be able to drive my own chair with my arm.
I have now been attending Project Walk for three years, in this time I have not only regained full head control but, I also have the independence of driving my own chair with my arm, something I was told I could never do. I have also been able to sit up at the edge of a table and balance with my core. I have been fortunate enough to regain bowel and bladder control as well.
Project Walk is not simply a rehabilitation gym with trainers. They are a facility with staff and faculty who care, who share the same goals as you. They have become a second family to me and I don’t know what I would have done without them. I can’t imagine where I would be today had I not found Project Walk.
If you are looking for a Rehab facility that has full dedication to your goals. That cares about their clients and makes you feel like you’re part of a bigger thing, and not just a patient coming in for rehab. Please look no farther than Project Walk and the incredible team there. They work tirelessly with you and will help your goals become a reality just as they have and continue to do with me.
My journey to Project Walk Boston began with a Facebook message. When I heard that Project Walk was coming to New England, I reached out to Victoria Arlen, whom I had met several years before in physical therapy. I had heard about Project Walk in the past, but I never thought it was an option because I don’t have a spinal cord injury. I asked Victoria if she thought Project Walk Boston would be willing to try working with someone who has Cerebral Palsy, and fortunately the answer was “yes”. At the time, I had no idea what Project Walk would do for me, and what that willingness to try would mean for others with CP.
My evaluation took place in February 2015, and some of the progress I’ve made still seems surreal. When I started my work outs, I didn’t have the core strength to crunches without a lot of help. Within six weeks, I trusted my trainers enough to try walking with the Tram. As simple as it sounds, that was the moment during which I realized that Project Walk was the right place for me; other people had faith that I could be successful in meeting physical fitness goals, and I started to believe I could too.
By Thanksgiving, I was strong enough to walk short distances with a walker, which allowed me to visit my aunt and uncle’s house, which is not wheelchair accessible, for the holiday. Outside of the gym, I I’m now able to be more independent with transfers, as well as getting dressed. I could write volumes about my Project Walk risks and successes, but, fast forward to 2018. I recently took a vacation to Disney World, and because I can now walk short distances with a single forearm crutch, I could access more rides than I would’ve been able to in the past.
The physical benefits of Project Walk are amazing, but the mental and emotional benefits have been equally as amazing. Project Walk is a family; when you are working out, you are surrounded by people who “get it”, and will support you in so many different ways. There have been so many times when I’ve been having a bad day, but feel so much better once I start training. Thank you Project Walk Boston and the Arlen family for thinking outside of the box and accepting your first client with Cerebral Palsy.