Englewood, Colo.— Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado has received a $10,000 donation from Kevin Pearce, a former professional snowboarder and former Craig Hospital patient. Pearce presented the gift at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 28 in Colorado.
On December 31, 2009, while training for the U.S. Olympic trials, Pearce sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. He rehabilitated from his injury at Craig Hospital. Post-accident, Pearce has become a passionate advocate for education and research on traumatic brain injuries and their prevention. His recovery—and his journey to accept his new life—was recently chronicled in "The Crash Reel," an HBO documentary film directed by Lucy Walker.
Over the past year, Pearce has travelled the country speaking about the film and spreading awareness of his Love Your Brain outreach campaign, a social movement focused on improving lives through brain injury prevention, rehabilitation and brain health.
As part of the Love Your Brain initiative, Pearce established the Kevin Pearce Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation to support organizations that serve individuals and families affected by brain injury, Down syndrome, and other challenges. Pearce has raised more than $100,000 for the fund through the sale of t-shirts, stickers, Simon Pearce glass bowls, and through donations made at his website and at speaking engagements.
The $10,000 donation to Craig Hospital is the first disbursement made from this Fund. The gift will be used to provide direct financial assistance to Craig patients with brain injury and their families.
"My family wanted to help others who are facing the same challenges we experienced during my recovery, and we wanted to give back to the community that stood with us while we were at Craig" says Pearce. "I'm so pleased to be able to help my fellow Craig Family members."
Pearce and his parents, Simon and Pia, and brothers David and Adam were in Colorado to attend the 2014 Craig Hospital PUSH fundraising gala. At PUSH, Pearce accepted the Christopher and Dana Reeve Inspiration Award. This award is given in recognition of his determination, advocacy, and commitment to serving as a positive and influential role model to those who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.
The Craig Hospital Foundation supports the Craig Hospital in achieving its goals through philanthropy. Operating in accordance with the philosophy of Craig Hospital, the Foundation builds lifelong relationships with contributors, raises funds and dedicates its resources to further advance the needs of Craig Hospital and those it serves. Guided by a dedicated and civic-minded board of directors, the Craig Hospital Foundation offers members of the community a number of meaningful ways to support the hospital's work helping people rebuild their lives. www.craighospital.org/foundation.
Craig Hospital is a world-renowned center for specialty rehabilitation and research for people with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Craig is a 93-bed, private, not-for-profit, free-standing long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospital that provides a comprehensive system of inpatient and outpatient medical care, rehabilitation, neurosurgical rehabilitative care, and long-term follow-up services. Half of Craig's patients come from outside of Colorado, and in the past four years the hospital treated patients from all 50 states and several foreign countries. At any given time, the staff at Craig treats approximately 55 inpatients with spinal cord injuries, 30 with traumatic brain injuries, and 50-60 outpatients. Craig provides housing for out-of-state families and outpatients, including the first 30 days free for families of new inpatients. www.craighospital.org