Erick Hernandez was recently awarded a $5,000 scholarship to complete a month-long, intense rehabilitation exercise program at SCI-FIT (Spinal Cord Injury Functional Integrated Therapy) in California. The program was designed to target Erick’s weaknesses and retrain his nervous system to respond appropriately. He trained five times a week for two hours each day during that month.
“Completing this rehab program helped me establish a home-based program that will help in my long-term recovery, daily life and independence,” noted Erick. “My passion to exercise has only gotten stronger.”Erick was injured in a diving accident in 2010 that resulted in C4-C5 incomplete fracture and paralysis. Prior to his injury, Erick served five years in the Navy, earned his college degree, and played most sports, from baseball to volleyball to beach soccer.
After his injury, Erick remained mostly independent at home, ambulating about 75% on crutches and 25% in his manual wheelchair.
His energy levels fluctuated depending on the day, and although he was still active, he fatigued much faster. This led him to seek out the rehab exercise program.
Erick loves to travel and learn as much as possible from culture and people. He tutors for college courses, and would like to return himself one day for a law degree.
“As of today, I’m looking to do competitive cycling in the hopes to one day compete in the Paralympics,” said Hernandez. “I will continue to work on my walking and living a healthy life. The support from Will2Walk is deeply appreciated and will never be forgotten.”
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The Will2Walk Scholarship & Sponsorship Program is designed to provide funding to individuals and qualified organizations that exemplify how those with spinal cord injuries can live a healthy, active and independent lifestyle. If you or someone you know could benefit from the Will2Walk Scholarship & Sponsorship Program, details can be found at Will2Walk.org.