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Shepherd patients playing tennis together.

Thrills and Skills
For Life
Through Recreation

Research shows that recreational activities provide huge benefits for people with acquired disabilities. These include obvious benefits like physical fitness and social interaction, but also less obvious advantages like increased self-confidence. Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy Program’s mission is to help patients lead healthy and active lifestyles as independently as possible through the use of recreation and leisure activities, providing education, skill development, and community reintegration opportunities.

Conquering Fears and Learning Acceptance

Group of people sitting in water floats, enjoying a day at the pool.

Shepherd Center’s Adventure Skills Workshop (ASW) is a popular annual event held at Camp ASCCA on Lake Martin in Jackson’s Gap, Alabama, where people with spinal cord injury (SCI) or disease, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, post-polio syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome, transverse myelitis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can get hands-on practice in activities they have always loved, as well as those they have always wanted to try. Attendees also make lasting friendships, and Gail Yordy, 61, is no exception.

Gail gives back to Shepherd Center by raising donations and speaking to groups about her experience with the hospital. She tries things she never did pre-injury like water polo and tubing. A self-described “water baby,” she exercises in her pool at home to maintain the progress he has made through the years.

For many adventurous spirits like Gail, who sustained a C3-C5 spinal cord injury during a seizure, recreation therapy programs like AWS provide many chances to engage in the camaraderie, competition and connectedness they’ve always enjoyed.

Support Recreation to Recovery

Shepherd patient and staff member enjoying recreational therapy at the aquarium.

Donations Make a Difference

Shepherd’s Recreation Therapy Program–the outings, skill workshops and community partnerships–are only possible because of donations from generous supporters like you. If seeing people get back to the activities they love, or try new pursuits for the first time, puts a smile on your face, know that your donation to Shepherd Center is making it all possible.