Thank you to those who joined us at the Hyatt Regency - Bloomington in 2017 for the 18th Annual A
Toast to Courage benefiting Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.
We hope you enjoyed the evening and were inspired by the stories you heard. You contributed to a successful event in helping us raise $232,265 which will make a big difference for our clients and patients!
Your support will go a long way in providing much needed services in the coming year, including expanding the chronic pain management program so more people can be served. Clients such as Robbin who spoke at the event and Amy, Bill, Sue and Terry who were featured in our
video (shown below) are grateful for your generosity.
Thank you for being such a great friend to Courage Kenny. We hope to see you at next year's A Toast to Courage.
To see pictures from the 2017 Toast to Courage Gala please visit the
Courage Kenny Facebook page.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Before I attended Courage Kenny, my life consisted of a lot of doctors appointments, a lot of pain meds, no exercise. I didn't have a life. It just consumes you. I came to Courage Kenny to help learn how to manage my pain without the narcotics and future surgery. My everyday pain was just bad. And I'd get hit frequently with these attacks of just debilitating double over at the waist type of pain. We tried a million different things. We saw provider after provider-- specialists-- everybody. And nothing really worked. And so it was fear for whether he could ever reclaim his life-- in fear for the life that we felt like we lost together. I was terrified that I was ruining what we had-- that my illness was killing not just me, but us. So I got off the pump. And I got off the drugs. And I entered the program. When I was 17, I was diagnosed with a bleeding aneurysm. And I had surgery down at the Mayo Clinic. After that surgery, I was suffering from both a brain injury and epilepsy and also very bad headaches. I tried everything, including opiates. And nothing seemed to work. My pain continued to get worse as I aged. I couldn't work anymore. I was throwing up every day. I was diagnosed with another inoperable aneurysm. And I needed to find a way to help my pain without turning to opiates. And that's why I ended up at the pain clinic. I had finished up my third back surgery and was really struggling, both with the pain not getting any better, as well as going into a very depressive state about, oh, my gosh, this is my life. Realizing that I was going to have chronic pain for the rest of my life was extremely difficult. As someone who always thought, I can handle things-- bring it on-- I can handle this-- this was just one thing that I could not do on my own. [MUSIC PLAYING] What we're trying to manage is the expectation that you're going to have chronic pain for the rest of your life. But it doesn't have to control your life. We really offer a different option that's non-interventional-- that's much more holistic-- building on the mental and the foundation of why does chronic pain exist? What does your brain tell you about chronic pain? how do you understand the signals? We do a number of things within the pain rehabilitation program. We're helping people learn how to live well despite having chronic pain. But we're also preventing opioid addiction. Because part of that overall strategy is to help people reduce their use of these medications, and in fact, eliminate them all together. We're empowering people to take back control of their life. And we act as their coaches in how to do that. The therapists, the doctors, the coordinators of the program are phenomenal. They want you to succeed as much as you want to. They introduce you to different types of relaxation-- exercise. One of the things that they do say here at the program is that we're going to give you a lot of techniques. we're going to throw a lot of things at the wall. And what sticks for you might not be what sticks for somebody else. But you choose. You figure out what works for you and then do it. I've created my own restorative yoga that I do. And that really helps. And if I can do that anywhere from three to five times a day, I can keep my pain levels-- get them down to a five or a three instead of a seven or an eight. That's a miracle for me. I love the treadmill. I used to walk five miles a day, hands down. And then when I injured my back, I went to nothing. So they got me moving. And I'm up to two miles a day. A physical therapist at Courage Kenny taught me how to breathe differently, which I know is helping me. And I do that 20 times a day just standing up. I can feel my gut relax in a way that I wasn't able to do before. Our goal is to teach people so well how to manage their pain that we're essentially putting ourselves out of a job. We want them to become their own best doctor and learn that they can manage their pain for the rest of their life, without necessarily coming back here or needing ongoing pain care. [MUSIC PLAYING] I am forever grateful for Courage Kenny. Rather than the pain controlling your life, your mind is now controlling the pain. Bill is working again. He has hope. And he has visible passion for writing and for making these family story videos-- for making a difference in the world. Courage Kenny gave me my focus on energy back. I've been joking with Julie-- I was like, I keep saying, you know, I'm coming back, whether you want it or not, you know? One of the most important things that Courage Kenny did for me was that I landed at a place where I felt like I fit in. Oh, I found a place where they understand me. I am very blessed. I'm sitting here talking to you. And I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you without what Courage Kenny has done for me. And I see what they're doing for everybody else. They're miracle workers. [MUSIC PLAYING]