A Toast to Courage Gala

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You're invited to the 21st annual A Toast to Courage Gala! Join us for a fun and inspiring evening that includes a new venue, silent and live auctions, multi-course dinner with wine pairings, reasons to celebrate and opportunities to make a difference. This year we are excited to announce that Paul Douglas, WCCO Radio, will be our emcee!

Saturday, October 10, 2020, 6 p.m.

InterContinental Hotel
5005 Glumack Dr
Minneapolis, MN 55450

Stay tuned for registration information!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available! For more information please contact Kari Delaney at kari.delaney@allina.com.

View photos from last year's Gala on our Facebook page.

Check out the event video that premiered at the 2019 Toast to Courage.

Stories of Abilities and Possibilities

I'm a silo builder. In December 12, of 2011, I had an accident. I fell 30, 35 feet high from stairs. I came to Courage Kenny to find a way how to deal with my pain.

It all started July last year when we're on vacation in Wisconsin Dells with the family. I fell in a playground with the kids, landed on my head, and I suffered a dislocated spine. I sat in ICU for roughly a week, and we found that Courage Kenny was probably the best place in the state of Minnesota to go for rehab.

Everly is just so fun. Her middle name is Joy, and she's very joyful and she's got a lot of spunk. We found out that she had spina bifida at the 20 week ultrasound. Everly has been here at Courage Kenny for about 2 and 1/2 years.

Before I heard about Courage Kenny, I was doing physical therapy for almost three years. I was just pain, pain all the time. That was my life, being with pain. I learned here at the chronic pain program, exercises, stretching, relaxation, and deep breathing, Tei shi too, meditations, and all that. At the fitness center, I would always go to the arm bike, and that helps my shoulder a lot. I learned how to do yoga here in the pain program and now I love it. When I'm done with the exercise, I feel like a completely new person.

When I'm unable, I start by doing electro therapy which shocks the muscle groups that we're trying to activate. And from my personal experience, I believe that it's done a great job on waking up muscle groups. And then the other part is trying to get that connectivity between your brain and the muscle. The local man and the treadmill are both moving your body, your legs and your muscles.

And after you get off the treadmill or like the local mat, your body is at its highest excitement so that's where we try to retrain how to do things. And for me, my goal has always been to independently stand.

Standing was very important to us because we got engaged a year prior to the accident, and we had a two year engagement. And he was determined to give us our first dance, and give that to me as a gift.

And then I knew once I had my arms around her, that I was going to be OK.

Everly has been working in the universal gym here at Courage Kenny. They do a lot of exercises that help build her core strength, her leg strength. Trying to get her up and walking, taking steps. She hasn't been able to do consistent steps so far, but then after July and really working hard in the gym, she more than doubled that amount of steps so we were really proud of her.

The therapists here at Courage Kenny have really helped her in her independence and encourage her. And so something they're working on is being able to get that upper body strength to get up and into her chair and out all by herself so that she can transfer from her wheelchair to the couch or to a different chair. And she just made great gains.

Today I'm still building silos, but my work is limited of what I can do. When I'm at work and I start getting signs of a headache or pain on my back, I just walk to my car and start doing some of the exercises to control pain. Like before it was just leave and not come back, now I stay and deal with it. If I were never found Courage Kenny my life would be very miserable. I feel better myself now. I love myself more.

Stand up.

My hopes for Everly is that she'll just feel like she can do things on her own. That she's capable. That she feels like she can get to all the places she wants to get to. She can try new things. And even if she can't do it the same, that there is a way that she can do it.

I still am a firm believer that my recovery was accelerated by getting on the local mat. And I feel like the sooner that somebody can get into that intensity, the quicker they're going to start their recovery. I've achieved a lot of goals over the last year, and I'm not going to stop trying to achieve goals until I've reached my full potential. Still striving to get better and trying to get back to our normal routine.