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Ill, Injured and Wounded Soldiers Benefit from Adaptive Sports Day with Loma Linda University PossAbilities

Loma Linda, Ca (PRWEB) June 07, 2013

Nearly 70 ill, injured and combat-wounded soldiers from the Army Reserve and National Guard filled Loma Linda University Drayson Center as part of the Adaptive Reconditioning Day on Wednesday, June 5. Hosted by LLU PossAbilities, in collaboration with the Community-Based Warrior Transition Unit-California (CBWTU), the Soldiers were exposed to various activities in an effort to expand their options for physical and recreational activity despite their personal limitations.

“This event is aimed to teach these men and women how to stay active despite their physical limitations, whatever they may be,” said Cotie Williams, program coordinator for PossAbilities. “We also want these heroes to know that PossAbilities is a great resource for them, and we are always here in whatever capacity they need us to be.”

The men and women who attended the day-long event came from all over Southern California, including Mike Klementich, an activated National Guardsman in the United States Army, who calls Pasadena home. While serving in Afghanistan last year he suffered various injuries while working as a fueler, operating a 25,000-gallon fuel truck.

“This has been a great day so far,” Klementich said during a lunch break at Drayson Center. “Because of the CBWTU I am able to be home with my family, and that’s the best part. Being here today has been good so far. There are a lot more people like me here than I expected.”

Klementich, a father of three, affirms his injuries include a torn out shoulder, an injured knee and his foot needs reconstructive surgery, which will happen later this month. He admits that getting on a bike today was beneficial for his knee and looks forward to more cycling before he has surgery on his foot.

The Soldiers rotated through various sessions throughout the day including pool therapy, kayaking, stretching and exercise, wheelchair basketball and cycling. They also received nutrition counseling from LLU professor of nutrition and dietetics, Bert Connell, PhD, who is also a former Army Reservist. He provided basic guidelines for weight loss and control and improving nutrition.

An orientation on PossAbilities was provided by Team PossAbilties athlete Greg Crouse, who was injured while serving in the US Army causing the amputation of his left leg. He informed the soldiers about the community outreach program and the resources it provides. Health screenings were also available at the event.

Special thanks went out to Stell Coffee and Tea Co. and Corner Bakery, both in Redlands, Ca for providing breakfast and lunch, respectively, for the Soldiers, staff and volunteers at the event.

PossAbilities is a community outreach program developed by Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus and supported by founding partner, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The goal of PossAbilities is to offer physically challenged individuals a sense of community by offering activities and practical help.

Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) provide personal support to wounded Soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management. The community-based program functions as a WTU for Soldiers who receive medical care in their community—at Department of Defense, TRICARE, or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. The CBWTU primarily provides outpatient care management and transition services for Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers who do not need the day-to-day medical management provided by WTUs on Army installations. The CBWTU enables the Soldier to recover and transition at the location closest to his/her personal support network or in his/her home, if medically supportable. Clinical care requirements determine whether a Soldier is assigned to a WTU or CBWTU.

Photo Caption: Mike Klementich aims for the hoop while learning the fundamentals of wheelchair basketball with his group for the day and members from Team PossAbilities.

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