Mary and Charles A. Parkhill turned their tragedy into the Mary and Charles A. Parkhill foundation with a mission to help others.
A swimming accident compressed Charles Parkhill's spine causing him to become paralyzed from the shoulders down. He didn’t let his injury stop him; through intensive therapy he was able to regain some mobility and has managed to walk for lengths unassisted.
However, upon hearing of a patient's therapy ending due to a lapse in insurance, the financial dilemma inspired their creation of the Mary and Charles A. Parkhill Foundation.
"When you’re thrust into this world you have no idea how this will affect the entire family in different areas. When you find out you're overwhelmed with how you're going to do it, who's going to do it, and who's going to pay for it," said Mary Parkhill, foundation cofounder.
The foundation grants money to those who have experienced traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries to continue therapy when other funding has lapsed, so far they’ve raised close to 600,000 dollars.
"What we’ve noticed is insurance companies are not covering the type of treatment that is necessary for recovery," said Polly Swingle, physical therapist, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of The Recovery Project. "The grant and foundation provides money that allow people to have the extensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for the length of time that is necessary to get recovery, or at least get them functional so they can have a great quality of life," she continued.
The foundation is funded completely through private donations and their annual fundraiser. This year their fundraiser takes place at Palazzo Di Bocce in Lake Orion, Michigan on Saturday, March 9th.
For more information on the foundation visit the Parkhill Foundation website.