Support Courage Kenny Foundation

Thank you!

Thank you for your support of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute! 

It is through the generosity of our donors that we are able to make important services and programs available to those who need them in our community. See the difference your donation made in 2020!

See how we're using virtual reality, robotics, electrical stimulation and assistive technologies to maximize clients' outcomes.


When I first came here, my legs were completely paralyzed.

I had a stroke about a month ago, Courage Kenny offered me a place to learn how to speak, how to walk again, how to think, how to do daily chores.

I really had no idea what my life was going to be after my spinal cord injury, a lot of questions. And just all the tools that I've learned about went beyond my expectations for what was going to be possible and continue to do that, and give me hope for the future.


No place in the region really has all of these offerings for innovative technologies that Courage Kenny currently offers. As rehab professionals, and specifically at Courage Kenny, our job is to really make sure we're figuring out what is kind of that next thing, what is that newest technology, and really partnering that with our clinicians and with our clients to help push outcomes, and help maximize their recovery and get them back to what they want to be doing.

Courage Kenny actually has a long history in the realm of rehabilitation robotics. Courage Kenny was the first to market in the Twin Cities with robotics used in gait retraining. And ever since then, we've continued to add to that suite of available technologies for the clients we serve.

The exoskeleton makes me really think about my steps, and I can tell the minute I've taken a misstep and fix it on my own. So it's given me a lot of strength and a lot of confidence. We weren't sure if I'd ever walk again, we weren't sure what I'd be able to do with my hands again. I mean, I had hopes all along that I would walk again, but there was no way of knowing for sure. Right now when I walk without the exo, I walk with a walker. And the next step is to walk with two canes. I want to be able to walk with one cane. And then I want to be able to walk without any canes. I'm not there yet, but that's my goal.

I came to Courage Kenny in 2005, about two weeks after my accident. Currently I'm an ABLE, which is activity-based locomotor exercise. And I've just noticed a lot of improvements. A lot of improvements in my endurance, just improvements in my overall strength, and also just my ability to perform tasks throughout the day. I work part-time, so I've noticed that I don't get as fatigued throughout the day since my participation.

It's important for Courage Kenny to invest in the latest technologies, really because it helps us stay out in front of the trends in the research and the rehab industry. So one of the things that's really exciting when we talk about what's next, is having the ability to bring a Lokomat to the [INAUDIBLE] Valley Campus really allows for kind of our next step in offerings for the people we serve.

Bringing it on this campus allows us to spread to the pediatric patient population. And what bringing a Lokomat to this campus will do, is it fills in that full continuum to allow for individuals at any point in their rehabilitation to still access the ability to do gait training. Another pocket of innovation in Courage Kenny really is our use of electrical stimulation to promote rehabilitation.

The electrical stim that I was doing has really helped me become more aware of my muscles and which function, kind of where to trigger them, especially being so many years out from my accident, I kind of forgot some of the movements. I've seen really good gains in my left arm, which was one of my weaker sides for a long time.

Another one of the areas that we tend to be very innovative at Courage Kenny is in our Assistive Technologies Department. And the whole goal of all of it is to allow individuals increase access in participation.

I work at Target Headquarters, I am a Senior Analyst. I currently use Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a voice program which enables me to dictate everything that I need to do pretty much by voice, whether it's email, working on spreadsheets. You can pretty much control everything that your computer would do by voice. I also use an assistive trackball mouse, which I'm able to do a little bit more in conjunction with my voice program.

Our virtual reality devices allow individuals to get into a completely different environment to do their practice. It allows them to feel safe and to start pushing their boundaries, like with Britney, when she's interacting just in our hallways, in our standard therapy gym, she's very guarded. But when she gets into the virtual reality system, it loosens her up and she starts really pushing the real boundaries of her system. And it allows her to really fully take advantage of her rehab.

In virtual reality, when you put the goggles on, your whole world is immersed in whatever you choose to do. I use my hands, shift my weight, using my brains to think, what to do next. I work my whole body, my core, twisting, turning, thinking. When I got here I was in a bad place. I was able to get around through a wheelchair only. Now I can walk independently.

And what we're really trying to do is juts to match the right piece of technology with the right clinician, with the right client, to allow that nervous system to reach its full potential, which then in the end allows that individual that we're trying to serve, treats their full ability to participate in whatever they want to do.

My daughter who doesn't see me every day came to the house and said, "Mom, you're walking so much better." When I see other people who can walk here without all this assistive equipment, that's my goal, to reach the point where I don't need assistive equipment. And this is the place to do it.


Annual report

Year in Review

Every gift to Courage Kenny matters, and every dollar you give directly supports our clients and programs. See how your generosity makes a difference.