Tapping into the transformative power of recreation is a key part of the rehab experience at Craig Hospital, something Kelly Brush Davisson experienced firsthand and has dedicated her life to since her inpatient stay at Craig in 2006 for a spinal cord injury she sustained while ski racing. On a January 25 visit to Denver, Kelly spent the day at Craig connecting with patients, alumni and staff, sharing the impact of the work she’s doing through the Kelly Brush Foundation to provide funds for adaptive sports and recreation equipment to people with spinal cord injuries, before attending a fundraiser in downtown Denver that evening to support the organization’s adaptive equipment grant program.
“I credit a lot of my success to Craig Hospital and to what I learned here about what I could still do and still be. A huge part of it was recreation therapy; I got on a handcycle and sat in a monoski for the first time here,” Kelly said. “But I also learned how expensive it is, and that’s so prohibitive for so many people who have a SCI and already have a higher cost of living. We decided to start the Kelly Brush Foundation to allow people to have that opportunity to be active if they want to be and not have cost be an issue for them.”
The Kelly Brush Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to incorporating sports and recreation into the lives of people with spinal cord injury, as well as preventing injuries in ski racing. Kelly, the Foundation’s founder and namesake, has dedicated her life to helping others get back into active lifestyles after discovering the benefit of adaptive sports following her injury. Since 2015, Craig has maintained a community partnership with the Foundation to provide much-needed scholarship funds to help Craig Hospital graduates with spinal cord injuries continue to lead an active lifestyle, providing funding for adaptive sports and recreational equipment.
“Realizing I could still be an athlete and still do sports was huge in my recovery and in thinking my life wasn’t over. That’s the same thing we want to give other people opportunities to do. We want people to be able to be active on their own terms,” Kelly said.
Since the “Granting Independence” SCI Adaptive Equipment Scholarship was introduced in 2015, Craig and the Kelly Brush Foundation have awarded scholarships to 24 Craig alumni, totaling more than $62,500 in grants for adaptive recreation equipment.
“Sport and recreation can help develop confidence, independence and strength—both physical and emotional. At Craig Hospital, we often see the barrier to participation is the ability to afford the piece of equipment,” Tom Carr, Director of Therapeutic Recreation for Craig Hospital, said. “The partnership with KBF allows us to do more; it allows us to say yes to the passionate and heartfelt applications from alumni who just don’t have the ability to afford what can be life-transforming equipment. With the help of KBF, we can say yes.”
Interested in Craig's Adaptive Equipment Scholarship? Visit our website to learn more about the application process.