Annual event is a showcase for people living with paralysis

NextStep Orlando gets results for those living with spinal cord injuries

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – This week's Getting Results Award segment follows up with NextStep Orlando.

NextStep Orlando, a state of the art paralysis recovery center, held its annual Walk-N-Roll-A-Thon Saturday at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. 

"This is what we work so hard for," NextStep Executive Director Liza Riedel said, as she prepared the venue for the celebration."You can have a better quality of life and we're going to show it to you as they go down the red carpet."

Riedel was awarded the Getting Results Award earlier this year. Her gym in Longwood has been a center of hope and recovery for people living with spinal cord injuries. 

The 30-foot red carpet was unrolled and took center stage as friends and family gathered around to cheer on their loved ones. 

Among them was Kelly Whelan. Whelan was a passenger in a car crash that left her paralyzed and unable to feel anything from the neck down. 

"I'm excited," she said, as she waited her turn. "It shows that there is hope and with hard work, a life can be changed." 

Moments later, with the help of a trainer, she stood up from her wheelchair and walked the entire distance by herself. 

Riedel started NextStep Orlando after her daughter, Amanda, was paralyzed in a car crash. While recovering, Riedel  became frustrated with the rehabilitation process. So, she started her own rehab center.

The center serves people with spinal cord injuries, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's Disease and other neurological conditions. 

Training includes aggressive and comprehensive exercise-based programming.

"It's a lifelong recovery," Riedel says. "It's wellness, it's a better quality of life and it gives them that extra push. This event is a motivator."

News 6 Anchor Matt Austin emceed the event and told the patients stories' as they participated. 

NextStep Orlando relies heavily on donations, primarily for new equipment, training and continued education. To alleviate financial hardships on clients NextStep also offers a financial assistance program. If you think you can help, you can learn more by visiting NextStepOrlando.org.

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