DRIVEN Opening and Events Press Release
www.conquerparalysisnow.org NEWS RELEASE
Craig Williams, Conquer Paralysis Now
Unique, affordable rehabilitation facility for individuals with disabilities to be built in Las Vegas by Sam Schmidt and Conquer Paralysis Now
Not-for-profit center named Driven to help improve quality of life and increase independence to hold Grand Opening Celebration on October 27
LAS VEGAS, NV(October 1, 2018) -- A new, unique rehabilitation facility to help individuals with disabilities improve their health and lead more independent lives is being built in downtown Las Vegas, it was announced today by Sam Schmidt and Conquer Paralysis Now.
Schmidt, a Las Vegas-area resident and a quadriplegic, said the mission is to create an affordable multidisciplinary center where individuals with disabilities can improve their physical, mental and emotional health, increase independence, and enhance their overall quality of life using a holistic approach to wellness.
The not-for-profit center will be called Driven and a grand opening celebration will be held at the facility at 701 E. Bridger Avenue on Saturday, October 27 from 6:00-9:00 pm. Drivenwill serve people with all forms of disabilities and neurological conditions, not just those with spinal cord injuries, including veterans and wounded warriors. These include people suffering from stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, brain injuries, amputees and Transverse Myelitis.
Individuals with physical disabilities make up the largest minority group in the United States. About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the U.S. population – have a disability. Healthcare costs for people with disabilities are $2.1 billion per year in Nevada alone.
“The number one reason I have been able to go 18 years since my accident without a serious medical issue is the ongoing physical therapy and support I have received,” said Schmidt, who founded Conquer Paralysis Now (formerly The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation) in 2000 following his accident practicing for an IndyCar race. “I have been very fortunate to have a team of people to help me through the years with my daily therapy. However, 99% of the population are not as lucky as me.
“Without access to progressive care, individuals will experience health deterioration, depression and secondary medical complications which can result in serious illness or death. Sadly, suicide is a serious issue for people with disabilities, including among veterans where 22 vets commit suicide every day.”
The goal for the new rehab center is to make available at affordable prices to the people of Las Vegas and Clark County living with disabilities the same life-changing rehab and support that Schmidt has received to help them live longer, healthier, more independent lives.
“We are taking the best business models in physical therapy and support that I have experienced in the past 10 years and developing a new hybrid approach for our Driven center,” Schmidt explained.
The center will be staffed by dedicated professionals who are specially trained to deliver the treatment and therapies unique to people with disabilities. Among those professionals will be Brandi Kurka, an adapted physical activity therapist with 15 years of experience, including the last five years supporting Schmidt.
The center will help to push people living with a disability further along to independent living by offering access to affordable rehabilitation programs and services that were not available to them before through outpatient treatment. It also will offer advocacy services such as assistance with obtaining affordable housing, transportation, vehicles and employment.
Drivenwill combine on-going physical conditioning and therapy with training for how to eat healthy and live a healthier lifestyle. The facility will include a kitchen where we can teach people to cook healthy meals.
“All of this with the ultimate goal of helping them lead healthier, happier and more independent lives,” Schmidt said.
Funding will come from foundations like Conquer Paralysis Now, private donations, Medicaid, public funding, grants and fundraisers with a focus on making the program as affordable as possible for everyone who has a disability.
Two other events supporting Driven and Conquer Paralysis Now are being held on Sunday, October 28 in Las Vegas. From 1:00-4:00 pm at the SpeedVegas Driving Experience, 14200 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, attendees will have the opportunity to drive the exotic vehicle of their choice, take a ride with IndyCar stars, or even have the thrill of a high-speed drive with Sam Schmidt in a specially equipped Corvette that Arrow Electronics built especially for Sam to drive.
Also, there will be an evening event at TopGolf, 4627 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, from 6:00-10:00 pm on October 28 with cash prizes and hole-in-one opportunities, along with a buffet reception, auction and cocktails. Schmidt and other celebrities also will be in attendance.
To register for the events or to become a sponsor of the activities contact Craig Williams, Conquer Paralysis Now, firstname.lastname@example.org, (609) 955-1047. Additional information is also available at www.conquerparalysisnow.org.
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About Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt is a resident of the Las Vegas area. He was a driver in the Indy Racing League before suffering an injury in practice in January 2000 in which he sustained a C-3/4/5 spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. He created the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) that year to raise funds for medical research, innovative equipment used for rehabilitation, and quality-of-life issues. In 2014, the foundation was rebranded as Conquer Paralysis Now with a mission to cure paralysis while assisting those who are already disabled. To date in total, the organizations have invested more than $14 million in research and programs looking to cure paralysis and support people with disabilities to live better lives.
Today, besides chairing Conquer Paralysis Now, Sam is a highly successful business person and Indy Racing League owner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
About Conquer Paralysis Now
Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to furthering advancements in spinal cord injury research and treatment. Backed by an international coalition of medical doctors, research scientists and business leaders, CPN is motivated by a singular goal of finding a cure for paralysis – that is, restoring important functions for those living with spinal cord injuries. For more information visit the CPN website at ConquerParalysisNow.org.