People from all over metro Detroit gathered at the NeuroCare Campus seeking inspiration and greater independence at Special Tree’s 5th annual SCI Mobility + Recreation Expo. The Expo brought together 30 vendors who provide products, services, and recreational activities to help benefit and enrich the lives of people living with spinal cord injury and other disabilities.
Attendees enjoyed beautiful weather as they explored all the Expo had to offer. They learned about mobility options including wheelchair accessible vehicles and all terrain wheelchairs. They networked with vendors that provide home modifications and driving rehabilitation. They tried out hand-cycle bikes and adaptive tennis equipment. They watched hard-hitting, fast-paced games of wheelchair rugby and basketball. Some got their wheelchairs tuned-up while others learned more about traveling with disabilities.
“The Expo is an opportunity to bring people together to show them what’s possible after a brain or spinal cord injury – which is just about everything,” said Todd Hammons, Special Tree’s Accessibility Advisor who spearheads the event. Todd has spent the 29 years since he sustained a spinal cord injury at age 19 finding ways to do just about everything he wants to do and helping others do the same.
This year’s Expo was a big success with more vendors and an increase in attendance. Local news coverage helped to build buzz for the event including a story that was featured on-line and in the Sunday print editions of the News Herald, Oakland Press, and Macomb Daily newspapers. WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Action News interviewed Jack Richert and Todd Hammons on their Sunday morning news broadcast, and FOX2 News stopped by the event and did a recap on the 5pm news broadcast.
The Expo wouldn’t be possible without a tremendous team effort. Many thanks to the team that made it all possible including Todd and Special Tree’s Facilities Maintenance Team — Director Jim Richert, Abby Whitford, Krystal Thompson, Dan Button, Shawn Opperman, Mark Blevins, Jeff Messersmith.
“We are honored to host this inspiring event every summer,” said Jim. “Special Tree’s focus is always on possibility rather than obstacle; having Todd as a part of our team helps us keep that focus. We have an unwavering commitment to bring together brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation organizations and vendors in one place through this event, so we can work together for the greater good.”