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Kessler2013 Statistics

Money Raised
Team Fundraising Goal: $10,000.00
Total Raised: $8,901.16

Members Recruited
Recruitment Goal: 10
Members Recruited: 19

JT with the LT team (above) & Eric LeGrand (below)

Ju$$ Moneyy!!!!!
By Ju$$ Moneyy

Once upon a time in the NRN, on the outskirts of West Orange NJ, there was a team, a supreme team made of the elite therapists across the world who cared for one man, a great man. That man from Queens; tall, dark, handsome, talented & overall amazing at life. The great man was also a great rapper, arguably better than Tupac and Biggie and his name was Ju$$ Moneyy!!!!!. The great man had great therapy at the Kessler Dome. Shoutouts to everybody from Queens. Shoutout to all my NRN across the globe. Keep doin' you.

-The original words of a great man.

JT- 01/31/2013

My name is Justin Thompson and I am 17 year old high school senior from Queens, New York. On October 21, 2011 at approximately 9:30 PM I was leaving a party with several of my friends when suddenly we were approached by an unknown group of men. My friends and I sensed trouble immediately and began to run. Unfortunately one of the men pulled a gun and shot me in the back during my pursuit. I became a victim of a random group shooting. I remained conscious as I hit the pavement but was unable to move my legs to get up.

I was rushed to North Shore Long Island Jewish hospital where they determined that I sustained a spinal cord injury. This was very shocking and devastating to me and my family but we remained positive. The level of my injury was categorized as T-9 complete, but my spinal cord and its fluids were intact because the bullet only grazed it. After a few days in intensive care, they performed a decompression surgery. The surgery went well and I stayed in intensive care for about 2 weeks.

After leaving the hospital I began intensive physical and occupational therapy as an inpatient at Burke Rehabilitation facility. I stayed at Burke for about 6 weeks and was discharged to outpatient therapy. I continued my therapy at NYU Longhorn but felt like I wasn’t getting the rehab I needed to recover. While I was NYU my parents were contacted by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. They introduced us to the NeuroRecovery Program at Kessler and by July of 2012 I was enrolled.

The NRN program at Kessler is the best of all the places we have been thus far. It is a very high intensity program that is always promoting recovery. My dad and I travel from Queens five days a week to participate in this program but it has all been worth it. The therapists are all very knowledgeable and experienced and they always push me to do more. Everyone at Kessler plays a big role in the recovery success I have been experiencing there. I have shown tremendous progress since my enrollment in the NRN at Kessler with many things such as standing and taking assisted steps with a walker. I have high goals to regain strength and walk again and I know it will happen with the help of God and everyone at Kessler.


Meet Eric James LeGrand aka E La G, number 5 2! His life changed drastically in a single moment on October 16, 2010. As a football player Eric was known for his skill as a key defensive lineman and as a much loved teammate who could make anyone smile. During a heated fourth quarter of a tie game against Army, a crushing tackle left Eric sprawled motionless on the ground while the entire stadium went silent with fear and anticipation. Doctors later discovered that Eric’s body was paralyzed from the neck down, marking the beginning of a long, grueling and emotional road to recovery.

What Eric didn’t know then, however, was that the months ahead would be a remarkable, transformative journey – one so profound that he would call the time since his accident the best years of his life. His first goal was to breathe on his own and it only took him 5 weeks to be completely independent of a ventilator, the vent that doctors thought he would need for the rest of his life. He started setting his goals a little higher after that and his ultimate goals is not only to walk, but to stand up from the spot on the field where he was injured, to get up and to finish the play. He Thrilled fans months after his injury by posting a picture of himself standing in a standing frame with the caption “Standing tall, we can’t fall.” A year after his accident, the nation watched as he led his Rutgers teammates onto the filed in his wheelchair – a powerful gesture that was voted best sports moment of 2011 by Sport Illustrated readers.

Eric is an aspiring sports broadcaster and uses his experience to spread a message of belief and positivity. He’s even written a book about his experience entitled Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life.
Over the past 2 years he has continued to work toward his bachelors’ degree, while attending therapy daily at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ as part of the NeuroRecovery Network Locomotor training program.
When asked about his experience in the NRN he stated:
“My Kessler team has taught me to never limit myself and always be ready to take on new challenges. With the help of my Kessler NRN team I plan on attaining my goal of walking again, one step at a time!”

Team Members:
Total Raised$8,901.16  
General Team Donation$3,750.00  
Kessler Jeans Day$576.16  
   Sonja Borodko$200.00  
   Mark Brinn$200.00  
   Misako Coppla$700.00  
   Denise D'Urso$200.00  
   Maureen Duane - Pfeiffer$200.00  
   Daniel Falanga$400.00  
   Gail Forrest$200.00  
   Roxanne Franco$200.00  
   Prasad Gaye$225.00  
   Syndi Granger$300.00  
   Darrell Jenkins$200.00  
   Mark Krimmel$200.00  
   Ryan Lamb$200.00  
   Lindsay McIntyre$200.00  
   Amy Smith$200.00  
   Shelly Smith$300.00  
   Gabriella Stiefbold$200.00  
   Sandra Wojciehowski$250.00  


The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

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