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Shepherd Center Fashion Show Benefits Rehabilitation Programs for Adolescents with Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries

Fashion show in June features modeling by hospital staff members and former patients.

Each year, more than 100 adolescents are admitted to Shepherd Center’s spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation programs. Treatment team members provide age-appropriate therapy and expertise in returning these patients to the highest possible level of functioning and independence, while addressing adolescents’ needs for autonomy, privacy and control.

Shepherd Center’s adolescent rehabilitation program needs donor funding to enhance its therapeutic, academic and return-to-school programs for teens with a spinal cord and/or brain injury. So, four years ago, adolescent treatment team members started an annual fundraising fashion show called Project Rollway. The event features fashion modeling by staff members and former patients, providing a fun, confidence-building experience for patients while garnering financial support through purchased tickets and sponsorships.

Project Rollway 2017 promises to another great year for the annual tradition. Modeling in this year’s show are some former patients whose stories attracted news media coverage. Those participants include Emily Bowman, Clark Jacobs, Agnes Kim and Pierre St. Brice of metro Atlanta, Grant Brunson of Albany, Georgia, and Michael Doherty of the New Orleans, Louisiana, area.

The event is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 23, in Shepherd Center’s Livingston Gym. More details and tickets are available at shepherd.org/project-rollway.

The annual event began in 2012 and raised $3,000 in its inaugural year. As it gained popularity, proceeds increased to around $15,000 in 2016. Purchased tickets and sponsorship packages for Project Rollway have helped enhance rehabilitation programs for Shepherd Center’s adolescent patients since the event’s inception, organizers said.

Also, the fashion show helps spread awareness on the effects of spinal cord and brain injuries amongst teens and the role of specialized rehabilitation in helping them successfully return to their homes, schools and communities, organizers said.

There are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) annually in the United States, and of those cases, between 1,500 and 2,000 affect children and adolescents. Each year, more than 3.5 million Americans will sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and of that number, 250,000 to 400,000 affect adolescents. After sustaining a SCI and/or a TBI, individuals (adolescents and adults) have to learn how to adjust or learn new methods of living to be comfortable, independent and able to transition back into their community.

Learn more about Shepherd Center’s rehabilitation programs for adolescents with spinal cord and brain injuries:

By Alaina Case