Category: Travels

#Bestof2015 – Setting the bar high for 2016!



Happy New Year Everyone!

I recently saw this #BestofReeve2015 moment and I could not stop grinning after I watched this video! It seems that everyone has such great #bestof2015 moments. I feel as we start the process of setting 2016 goals, its ok to breath and reflect on some moments that are worth never letting go!

Reeve Foundation

.@TODAYshow‘s @JennaBushHager‘s incredible interview w/ Matthew Reeve that aired New Year’s Day. 



For me this SCI journey certainly has had plenty ups and downs. What might qualify as an “up” moment for me 4 years ago, pre injury has since transformed to appreciating the small successes in life.
An example, for anyone going through what I have, a simple success to celebrate is a day with no nerve pain!
The point is I’m officially stamping 2015, in its entirety as an “up” year! There is not one wrong, setback or upset that could come close to out weighing the mountain of blessings the Lord has provided this year.
Thank you all for being a part of a truly blessed year.
Take in some of my highlighted moments to understand why I can only count my blessings as I recap the year.


2015 started with a bang when family I haven’t seen in a while visited from out-of-town:)20150102_214248414_iOS


Soon after…Trish and I explored the exoskeleton “REWALK” at OHSU.

After a PT evaluation, I found out this technology is available for people with my injury. To qualify, I just needed a little more tricep strength.

We proceeded to have a great Portland get away weekend together.

Trisha Jorda's photo.20150125_233625101_iOS20150125_204247107_iOS

Spring rolled around…In April I received a call from Fraizer Rehab/University of Louisville with an invite to another screening for the Spinal Epidural Stimulation Study. Knowing the limited selection process when I went in 2014’s visit, I continuously had to put my excitement in check.about-frazier-rehabresearch-image

Trish and I knew leaving the screening, if offered, it would be life changing. The offer came, the excitement rapidly become a reality.

The 80 day “Live you life” Phase began!

With so much to do in such little time, lets just say my SUMMERTIME was a little crazy.

Summertime in Bend can be breath-taking.  Knowing I would be leaving for a while meant I really took in some beautiful Bend summer moments!
IMG_9814Drake Park
Quite a 4th of July Sunset
Smith Rock
Crater Lake

Special place in my heart for 7.28.15.

Trisha and I were Baptized together.

Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”



Our planned September Florida beach wedding morphed into an August morning West Coast, Sparks Lake Wedding.


“Love Starts with a Spark”

I married the most beautiful bride there is!


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Our little engine that could no more. We said good-bye to our “old faithful” Van….and said HELLO to something just a little bit more reliable.

Thank you Father’s House and good friends for helping this happen!


Louisville departure soon approaching, community support was monumental!
Fun times with good friends, “Toss it for the Goodlife fundraiser”.

No way any of this would be possible without the support of family, friends and community support.11822739_10153491389799534_4746141325830219155_n20150809_211559000_iOS


2015 gave me 30 seconds of local fame after being selected into the Epidural Stimulation Spinal Cord Study in Louisville, KY. For all who know me, I’m not too much of a public speaker however grateful for the community recognition!

A fundraiser is planned Saturday at GoodLife Brewing for a Bend man who may get a groundbreaking new treatment for those with spinal cord injuries

Fall/ Winter

With our reliable van, our ride cross-country road trip to Louisville, KY.


HELLO Louisville i.e.: Louisville, Loueville, Louaville… or however you/they pronounce it?!

This is a blessed journey.

Trish has been able to make several trips back and forth thus far. My mom has been able to stay and provide assistance. I have been working hard in the best place in the Nation for spinal cord injury!

A few examples of Trish and I not taking that time together for granted.


Not sure if I can top 2015 but cheers to trying! The bar is high in 2016!

UofL / Frazier Rehab Screening Recap

God is good! Safe travels for Trish and I to and from.  Flying was a new experience in this injury and throughout I learned the do’s and don’ts.

I would like to thank everyone at the University of Louisville and Fraizer Rehab that dedicates their time to this important research! The screening processes was blessed beyond imaginable.  Also, a huge thank you to our advocate / help Anna, that made sure everything went as smooth as possible!

Thursday after reviewing the results with all the doctors, all the studies I was evaluated for, I medically and scientifically qualify for! Great news! Several are only recruiting a select amount of people and I will have to wait to hear if I am selected. The study that I wish be pursue in the near future and is open enrollment is the, FES Stand Retrain (click for details) study.  

This study will require a 4-5 month commitment.  Being a part of studies like this I feel is extremely important in finding the best standard of practice for the future.

I appreciate all the support I have received along this journey.


UofL / Fraizer Rehab Screening Last Day

Thursday was the last screening. They saved the best test for last!  I was evaluated while walking on the treadmill. I was able to walk with assistance and a harness for core support for 10 minutes consistently!! It was such a strange and unstable feeling to walk again. I had motion sensors and EKGs attached to different muscles in my lower extremities.

The purpose of this evaluation was to see if I would physically be able to handle treadmill muscle training and also to monitor if different muscles were being triggered when I walked. One of the studies will require many treadmill (Locomotor) training sessions.

It was an exciting day in Louisville!

UofL / Fraizer Rehab Screening – Day 3

    Today I will call electrode day! Lots of wires, EKG electrodes and sticky tape.In the AM (left video) I did a SSEP test that analyzes the sensory system in response to low – intensity electrical stimulation applied my wrists and back of my knees.  This test was done in the main hospital rather than…

U of L / Fraizer Rehab Screening – Day 2

Today during the am session (left video) they conducted an orthostatic stress test that looks at the body’s blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing response to quickly changing positions. The position change was from lying down to sitting up.  It was a fairly quick and painless test.  If anything it was relaxing and quiet.The afternoon session (right video) was the (RMCA) Respiratory Motor Control Assessment.  This test was the baseline evaluation for the Respiratory Motor Control and Blood Pressure Control Study.  In the video you are not able to see under my shirt but there was at least 30 sensors measuring different muscle intensities.  The study’s intention is to train respiratory muscles through a specific breathing device and calibrations. This can be very beneficial for spinal cord injuries of my level.

Still more to come tomorrow and Thursday.

Lots to be excited about.





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