Friday, May 17, 2013

Sandra Billinger from KU Medical Center and her son attempt to walk 570 miles across Kansas

Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA,and her son Michael challenge themselves to walk across Kansas starting at the Colorado/Kansas state line (about 2 miles west of Coolidge, Kansas), and trek to the Kansas/Missouri border at KU Medical Center in Kansas City. The two will roughly follow the portion of the American Discovery Trail that cuts across the state. In Kansas, the American Discovery Trail follows the Sante Fe Trail. Dr. Billinger's walk across Kansas starts May 16 with a goal of reaching the eastern state line in 23 days which is an average of about 25 miles per day.

Dr. Billinger’s hope is for Walk Across Kansas to be the "first step" in helping move stroke research forward with the goal of improving recovery from the effects of stroke. Her personal story of a car accident that lead to her eventual recovery and move to Kansas City serves as inspiration for the walk.

The goal for Walk Across Kansas is to raise $50,000 needed to acquire the technology and further work at KU Medical Center. They want to lead this understudied area of research. They aim to understand if and how early mobility/physical activity is beneficial for brain health following stroke. The REACH lab research team is working closely with physicians, nurses, physical therapists and other researchers in this endeavor. As of May 14, 2013, they have raised $9,590.00. The funds raised here will also support the initiation of an early physical activity program for stroke patients at KU Hospital.

Dr. Billinger was recently recognized by the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy for one of her published studies on stroke and cardiovascular health. She and lab team co-authors received the Golden Synapse Award which recognizes the most outstanding article published in the journal during the 2012 calendar year.

For information on sponsorship opportunities, please email Dr. Billinger (sbillinger at Walk Across Kansas also has a Facebook page. "Like" them to stay in touch and follow what they're doing.
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