Back in action

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Back in action

After breaking her back and pelvis in an accident, rock climber Chris Prange-Morgan was told she might never climb again. She proved doctors wrong by organizing an adaptive climbing group to help climbers like her resume their sport.

Helping people like Prange-Morgan resume activities they love is the objective of an Adaptive Abilities Club formed by Dr. Tina Stoeckmann, clinical associate professor of physical therapy in the College of Health Sciences.

In addition to helping people who have disabilities participate in sports and other activities, a side benefit was quickly apparent to Stoeckmann. The club offers an extraordinary educational component for physical therapy students who help with the club. “As physical therapy students, they’re usually seeing or learning about people in crisis,” Stoeckmann says. “It can give them a skewed perspective of what ‘disability’ means. In the club, they get to see people having fun and enjoying recreation.”

Marquette’s club supports the group founded by Prange-Morgan with volunteer assistance. “The Marquette group is amazing,” Prange-Morgan says. “They bring a passion, enthusiasm and energy to what we do.”

Adaptive activities cover a gamut, ranging from skiing to tubing to soccer and more. Mike and Crystal Johnson’s daughters, Abigail and Cate, have been involved in adaptive events for a decade, beginning with downhill skiing 10 years ago and branching out into softball, soccer and rock climbing. “Our ladies are nonverbal, with undiagnosed physical and developmental disabilities,” Mike Johnson says. “With that said, they’re healthy, happy and enjoy participating in a wide variety of events. The Marquette students challenge them to have fun while doing their best in an environment of unconditional support and encouragement. These experiences have been beneficial for our entire family.” — JL

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