NEW YORK — Adrienne is walking today because she refused to let a T-4 level spinal cord injury in 2016 keep her down. She says she simply made it her mission to walk again, which she does today with the assistance of a walker.
And, when her insurance maxed out and out of pocket costs limited her outpatient physical therapy options, Adrienne decided she would start home therapy by getting grant funding to buy a MOTOmed motor-assisted movement therapy bike like the one she had used during recovery at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains. She settled on the MOTOmed Viva 2 Light Bike from Enable Me, the largest provider of technologically-advanced and user-friendly movement therapy devices in North America.
Little did it matter that she had never applied for grant funding before. “When I’m prompted to do something, I do it,” said Adrienne. “I listen to God and give all credit to his guidance. I’m amazed at how it all played out.”
Adrienne began applying for grants last November. “My heart was into researching everything. I was determined to do the leg work,” she said. “Rehabilitation is hard at home without another pair of hands, and I needed therapy at home.”
At first, it was frustrating and discouraging for Adrienne as foundations immediately said “no,” and she admits to giving up twice. But she was led back to her research and determined to hear “yes.” She began directly contacting foundations and asking for guidance on applications.
“I spent my career as an executive assistant. I’m persistent,” said Adrienne. “If there was no response, I kept trying and kept calling.”
After getting in touch with multiple foundation leaders and employees, they began to guide her through the specificity of their grant applications.
Adrienne is a true role model for others who need grant funding for home physical therapy devices. “My first grant application wasn’t specific in its use. It was a learning experience. I had provided them the cost of the MOTOmed bike and my reasons for using it, but I had not asked for a specific amount of money in the grant application,” said Adrienne. “It’s not a cut-and-dry process and each foundation handles it differently.”
The final cost for her very own home therapy machine, including shipping, came out to $6,530.
Adrienne says being specific was the difference, stating specific goals and requesting specific amounts in grants. Proving why you need the grant is fundamental and being as precise as possible can help the approval process. References from doctors and physical therapy practitioners also help tremendously.
“Foundations will all ask you if you have applied to other foundations, if you have been approved by other foundations or if you are waiting approval from other foundations. They all work on different timetables depending on when their boards meet,” Adrienne explained. “They make sure you try everything in your home state first and exhaust all resources before coming to them. They are non-profit foundations and are stretched thin in their resources. It’s understandable.”
The average grant application is typically approved or denied in three to six months, and Adrienne was first approved in January. However, most foundations will not approve the full amount requested because of the many applications they receive.
“I was fortunate to deal with compassionate people who advised me to apply for more than one grant and guided me on how to apply,” said Adrienne.
She was able to secure the full amount for her MOTOmed Viva 2 Light Bike across five combined grants from the following foundations:
- Getting Back Up in Westlake, Ohio
- Will2Walk in Chandler, Ariz.
- NYSpinalCord.org Chapter in New York
- Joni and Friends Christian Fund for the Disabled in Agoura Hills, Calif.
- Triumph-Foundation in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Adrienne was approved for all five from January to May. She approached the final foundation multiple times after the foundation originally looked at approving grants in its home state first.
“By that time, I only needed a certain amount of money to complete the purchase of the MOTOmed,” she said. “I was prompted again to follow up, write them again, explain my time constraint, ask about approaching the board, and sure enough, the founder’s wife wrote me back with approval for the amount I requested. It was something only God could do.”
“It is stories like Adrienne’s that warm our hearts here at Enable Me,” said Mike Laky, Enable Me CEO. “Our mission is to improve quality of life, and it certainly appears we’ve helped do that for Adrienne. But all the credit goes to her for her persistence, determination and tenacity in setting a goal and making it happen.”
Adrienne was able to receive her MOTOmed Viva 2 Light Bike this summer, three weeks earlier than anticipated. She does not have a set routine yet while she deals with pain from another surgery, but she is looking forward to using it, especially during the cold, harsh winters in New York.
She has come far since her injury in 2016, and finds it her purpose to share her story and help others in need through her faith in God. She will only strengthen her journey with the help of her MOTOmed Viva 2 Light Bike.
Her advice to anyone suffering from any form of neuro-muscular disease or injury that requires movement therapy to aid in recovery is simple: “Be persistent and determined in your pursuit of grant funding, have faith in God and yourself, and it will happen!”