Our dear friend Jim Shifrin was in a devastating bicycle accident on July 5, 2017. This accident resulted in a severe spinal cord injury which has left Jim with paralysis in his upper and lower extremities and torso. Fortunately, he has no brain injury and can speak and eat normally, however, he is looking at a very long recovery process with extensive medical expenses for equipment and services. As Jim's friends and neighbors, the Spellman family is putting forward a call for help from the community, family, friends, fellow parishoners at the Church of the Holy Family and all those inspired to come to aid.
Coming back home...
With Jim gaining some movement in his arms, his family is looking forward to his return home after many months apart. To accommodate his new challenges, there are plans for the construction of lifts, ramps, significant modifications for the kitchen, bathrooms, doors and other accomodations in their home.
"“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Mahatma Gandhi
Some of you may not know Jim or his family, so allow us to share some information. Jim has spent nearly 30 years as a special education teacher helping students with disabilities. Both his professional and personal life revolve around his work. His daughter, Bailey, was born with Trisomy 18. She lived at home fully loved and supported by Jim, his wife, MaryGrace and son Cooper until she passed away at age 6 in 2004. To honor and remember Bailey, the family decided to build a handicapped accessible playground in her name. Jim and his family spent ten years conducting fundraisers, organizing committees and planning build days to make this a reality. Many of us were at those build days, art/music events and road races. Bailey's Garden, a fully accessible playground, was completed in 2015 at Lebanon Elementary School and now serves the local community. As and extension of that project, Jim is working on developing a non-profit organization to help others with disabilities and continues the project from his rehabilitation hospital.
"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." - John Holmes
We all know how difficult it is to ask for help. The Shifrins are the kind of people to open their homes and hearts to those in need and first to step up as demonstrated by the generous spirit of the work they have done already. Jim plans to continue his work in special education and service to others with disabilities. This accident has resulted in a major setback in his professional and personal life. Please help in any way you can.
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- Kathleen Dinan
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