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Help Ben Iammartino Recover -- Spinal Cord Injury

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7/5/23 Independence Update

This is the start of a new (exciting and maybe somewhat terrifying) chapter for Ben in his journey to gain independence and learn how to live in his new world.

For those of you who are new to Ben's story, he's been defying expectations and pushing limits even while struggling with certain aspects of daily life since a diving accident in Lake Michigan in June 2021 left him with a shattered C5 vertebra and resulting quadriplegia. He was just about to turn 16 at the time of the accident and he's missed out on a lot of "normal" teenage activities like learning to drive or any sort of normal high school experience but he hasn't let that stop him.

Now at almost 18 Ben has been living with this injury for 2 years, which seems like a lifetime yet is really only a drop in the bucket when compared to the full life he has ahead of himself. A HUGE and NECESSARY part of that life is Ben taking full ownership of his body, his strengths, and also his limitations to determine what HE needs to live a full and happy life.

As part of this journey, Ben has now been accepted into an amazing program in TX (aptly called ReDefine) this coming September-November. The program will allow Ben to focus on his independence and build a community of support as he prepares to attend college in the fall of 2024. We are asking for your help to get him to this program (see details in Steve's update from July 4) so he can be as successful as possible.

Here's what Ben has said about this opportunity and a quote he included that sums things up nicely:

This program lets me be truly on my own for the first time in 2 years. For me, that is the best part. I will be challenged with something really hard. That being said I want to be challenged. We can live our lives on autopilot or we can grow. I have goals for myself that seem impossible sometimes. My all-time goal is to be the best person I can be. It's a goal I always have with me on my long journey. It's the hardest thing to do but this program lets me work on it.

"There will always be obstacles and challenges that stand in your way. Building mental strength will help you develop resilience to those potential hazards so you can continue on your journey to success."
Amy Morin

Thank you all for sharing with us in this challenging journey.



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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 3 d
  • jody harrison
    • $20 
    • 14 d
  • Ellen Wiewel
    • $10 
    • 15 d
  • Linda Belpedio
    • $30 
    • 15 d
  • Joan Erin Lindsay Kelly Bostrom
    • $500 
    • 15 d
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Fundraising team: Ben's Fundraising Team (4)

Patricia Schultz
Organizer
Milwaukee, WI
Steve Iammartino
Beneficiary
Catherine Iammartino
Team member
Dorothy Schultz
Team member

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