Jeanine Posey, a mother of four, has been unable to walk since her spinal cord injury during a motor vehicle accident in 2011 when her youngest child was just 8 years old. She lost her beloved nursing job at a local Tallahassee hospital while she was recovering. Eventually she was able to find employment as a consulting nurse for the Florida Department of Health. Five years later, when she had the opportunity to try out the region's first robotic exoskeleton, she jumped at it.
The ReWalk exoskeleton is a wearable device that utilizes powered hip and knee motion controlled via a wrist worn communicator to enable a paralyzed person to stand and walk again. Jeanine said "It's amazing!" and found that just that one day made her feel so good. In fact, users of the device note both psychological and physiological improvements in their health. Research studies have demonstrated improvements in cardiovascular health and body composition, better bladder and bowel function, and less back pain.
The ReWalk device was FDA approved in the the US in 2011 and approved for home and public use in 2014. Despite this, many health insurance plans deem the device "experimental". Despite appeals, Jeanine's plan denied her the ReWalk device on these grounds. Without prior notification, her claim for the device was sent to an unknown outside reviewer and was again denied. Current Florida legislation favors health insurer's in this regard and limit her legal recourse.
Therefore, Jeanine's ReWalk Fund was established to raise money so that one day she will stand and hug her loved ones, talk eye to eye with colleagues, and walk again with a robotic exoskeleton.
Thank you to the sponsors of our fundraising walks.
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- Olivia Keller
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