Enhancing the quality of life for people living with spinal cord disability
RSA Board Officers
Amy Scaramuzzino, President
Betsy Saxe, Vice President
Cathy Flanagan, Treasurer
Susan Shepard, Secretary
RSA Board Members
Lesley Niebel, Esq.
Christian Valentino, Esq.
Chris Hilderbrant, Executive Director
2020 is a challenging year for all of us. This is especially true for the spinal cord injured and disabled community. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rochester Spinal Association (RSA) supported over 150 people, including veterans and caregivers, in our community by:
providing Covid-19 financial relief grants to 83 people,
securing and providing PPE and sanitizer,
decreasing isolation of people in our community,
providing 70 grants to help purchase equipment that is not covered by insurance,
providing peer support, and
providing information, advocacy, and education.
Just before the pandemic hit, we met Christopher Ivery-Burgos. Christopher, just 34, sustained a spinal cord injury in October 2019. When he first contacted RSA, we helped purchase a new wheelchair so he could achieve more independence. When the pandemic hit, we provided him with secure masks and sanitizer. He became a regular participant in our Zoom support meetings, sharing his humor and some excellent recipes. When RSA hosted a picnic at the park in August, we finally met Christopher in person!
What does RSA mean to Christopher? He says: With RSA’s support, Christopher has learned that “despite some setbacks in life, we all have the will to push forward and never give up.” With RSA’s help, Christopher connected with a driving program and is studying Strategic Marketing at Roberts Wesleyan College. He even plans to return to work in Japan after graduation!
All of RSA’s programs are provided at no cost. We rely entirely on foundation grants and the generosity of individuals and businesses in the greater Rochester area for funding. Believe me, I know this is a challenging financial time. And please know that no amount is too little… or too much.
I am excited to let you know that the RSA board members have combined to commit to matching the first $10,000 donated by our supporters! For every dollar you give, two dollars will go to support the programs and services that RSA provides to people living with SCI/D.
You may make a donation by sending a check using the enclosed slip and return envelope. You may also donate through our website at www.rochesterspinalassociation.org. On behalf of the entire spinal cord disability community, I thank you for your generosity! If you have any questions, please contact RSA at 585-234-3269.
Stay safe, be hopeful, and spread kindness.
P.S. RSA is a 501c3 nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible.
P.P.S. Do not forget that the first $10,000 will be matched dollar for dollar!
"At some time, often when we least expect it, we all have to face overwhelming challenges. When the unthinkable happens, the lighthouse is hope. Once we find it, we must cling to it with absolute determination. When we have hope, we discover powers within ourselves we may have never known- the power to make sacrifices, to endure, to heal, and to love. Once we choose hope, everything is possible." ~ Christopher Reeve