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February 16, 2014

Craig Hospital’s PUSH gala to honor snowboarder, brain injury survivor Kevin Pearce

Craig Hospital’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual PUSH dinner, will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014. The gala event raises money to support Craig Hospital’s programs and research. Last year’s dinner brought in more than $1.2 million for Craig Hospital and its patients.

Proceeds from the PUSH dinner fund Craig’s programs of excellence – like Therapeutic Recreation, Adaptive Technology, Music Therapy, Community Reintegration and education and tutoring programs – which are generally not covered by insurance. PUSH funds also support research, including ongoing studies and clinical trials aimed at improving outcomes, reducing long-term complications, and enhancing quality of life for those affected by spinal cord and traumatic brain injury.

The PUSH paddle auction raises funds for the Craig Hospital Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund, which helps patients with minimal income or inadequate insurance travel to and from Craig, purchase equipment like wheelchairs and shower chairs, remodel homes for accessibility, train caregivers, pay mortgages and college tuition, and meet other urgent needs.

At the 2014 PUSH, Kevin Pearce, a Craig grad, former professional snowboarder and traumatic brain injury survivor, will be awarded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Inspiration Award. This award is given in recognition of Pearce’s determination, advocacy, and commitment to serving as a positive and influential role model to those who have suffered a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

On December 31, 2009, while training for the U.S. Olympic trials in Park City, Utah and practicing a trick on the half-pipe, Pearce suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Although he was wearing a helmet, the injury left Kevin in critical condition and in a medically induced coma. 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. The film is accompanied by the Love Your Brain outreach campaign, which aims to highlight both the importance of wearing helmets and embracing life to its fullest. He has established a fund at Craig Hospital as well as The Kevin Pearce Fund to support individuals and families all over the country affected by brain injury, Down syndrome, and other challenges.

For those unable to attend the dinner, a PUSHing Possible crowdfunding campaign is underway. The campaign aims to raise $5,000 which will allow 51 patients to benefit from Craig Hospital’s innovative programs. PUSHing Possible provides opportunities for donors to support Craig Hospital patients with gifts ranging from $15 through $3000.

The PUSH dinner will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th St. in Denver. Learn more at www.craighospital.org/PUSH. To enquire about availability for individual tickets or sponsorships, please contact Sue Lynch at (303) 789-8578 or slynch@craighospital.org.

The Craig Hospital PUSH Gala is sold-out but you can still make an impact through the PUSHing Possible Campaign.