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Movement despite paralysis at unique Redmond nonprofit

Pushing Boundaries helps people with neurological barriers to movement benefit from exercise therapy. #k5eveving

REDMOND, Wash. —  Twenty-two-year-old Logan Moore is a University of Washington student, an outdoor-lover, and a dog dad.  

A motorcycle accident in 2021 left him paralyzed. Since then he's had to push up against many boundaries just to do the things he loves. 

Fortunately, there's a non-profit in Redmond helping him do exactly that.  It's called Pushing Boundaries and it's the only exercise facility in the Pacific Northwest specifically designed for people who have paralysis and other neurological barriers to movement. 

"I think for a lot of people, they hear paralysis and they think, ‘psht, that's it.' right?  And even people with very dramatic spinal cord injuries can regain function,” said Teri Mayo, the Executive Director of Pushing Boundaries. 

This is the only facility like this in the Northwest, because most health insurance doesn't cover exercise therapy for paralyzed people. Pushing Boundaries began with a need: When Allan Northrup sustained a spinal cord injury in a 2001 car accident, he couldn’t find a place for exercise therapy without traveling all the way to California. So he and his wife Sharon started a non-profit devoted to helping all people move. A whiteboard on the wall celebrates the milestones that happen here, everything from Robert taking four steps without assistance to Colin holding his head up for the first time. 

“It means the world to me when we see somebody have a breakthrough no matter the significance. It's profound,” Mayo said. 

After his injury, Logan Moore had no interest in going anywhere.

"I wasn't motivated,” Moore said. “I was stuck in bed, healing from the injury still trying to come to terms with what happened and I just didn't want to make the next step yet."

He took that next step at the urging of his mom, Wendy, and he's been working out at Pushing Boundaries for more than a year, gaining upper body and core strength. And today, Moore is about to take another step with the help of a robotic exoskeleton called a Locomat that helps paralyzed people get upright and go through the motions of walking again. Wendy Moore watches as her son ‘walks' on a treadmill with the support of the machine.

"As a mom, you can tell through their face, he's really enjoying it and I can see him kind of looking in the mirror. You get tired of seeing yourself sitting down, sitting in the chair,” she said. 

"It's pretty awesome, yeah, going through the motions again,” said Moore as he worked on the Locomat. A workout on the machine lasts 20 to 40 minutes - but the benefits of being upright, in full-body motion, will last far longer. 

"Life changing, getting back to an active lifestyle, getting back to have a healthier body, stuff like that just brings you better emotional health, mental health, physical health, all that type of things that just make your day to day life a lot easier,” Moore said. 

Everybody  deserves to, and can, move. Some just need a little more help. And that’s what Pushing Boundaries does. 

"It's a pretty amazing place to work. And at the end of the day, helping people feel like they have more control and more impact in their own lives is pretty inspirational,” said Mayo.

 Pushing Boundaries will have a fundraising event September 29, 2023. Ticket sales are open now, click here for details.

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