The First Steps Spinal Cord Injury Wellness Centre doesn’t just provide hope, it gives people a chance to do the same things as their able-bodied friends.
The innovative centre in Regina provides services for people with spinal cord injuries.
Using exercise as a recovery method, the facility is improving the quality of life for people like Chris Lesanko.
Injured 11 years ago, Lesanko can regularly be seen working out at the centre.
“When I first got hurt I was completely paralyzed from the neck down, now I can independently move both my arms, good core balance and I’ve decreased all medication,” Lesanko explained while doing bicep curls. “I am increasing my function and independence.”
It can be difficult for many people in Lesanko’s position to go to a private gym because they won’t necessarily have equipment designed for him or his wheelchair. At the centre he doesn’t have to feel he is limited.
“We typically would have to go to a different place, get their equipment adapted, try to teach their trainers to do our program,” Lesanko said. “Coming down here I can do the things that I kind of used to do being able-bodied and it just increases my function and just overall increases my quality of life.”
And in all this time, Lesanko has had no secondary health complication, which in itself is a success.
Lesanko is grateful for the centre and they work they do.