(847) 372-7429 cb@brennanrehabfoundation.org 1020 Walden Lane, Lake Forest, IL 60045

2022 Socrates Award Grants Announced

Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation Awards Lifetime Grants to Three Spinal Cord Injury Survivors

The Socrates Award recognizes individuals who face disability with perseverance and fortitude

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christopher Brennan
Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation
847-372-7429
cjb1133@gmail.com

CHICAGO – August 25, 2022 – Every year in the U.S., an estimated 17,000 people survive a spinal cord injury. While treatment and follow-up care vary according to the severity of the injury, medical expenses can easily exceed $500,000 in the first year alone.

These staggering costs inspired the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation to create the Socrates Award, a grant bestowed annually since 2018 to individuals with paralysis caused by illness or injury. This lifetime cash grant provides spinal cord injury survivors with yearly infusions of economic resources to aid in their ongoing care, from therapy and equipment to prescriptions and in-home care.

This year, the Socrates Award recognizes three recipients for their efforts to achieve personal success while pursuing the daily grind of physical rehabilitation and recovery. These individuals will each receive a cash grant annually, beginning this year.

Christopher Brennan, Jason Roberts (Father), Cooper Roberts, & Janie Walsh (Co-Chair Nomination Committee)
  • Cooper Roberts (Highland Park, Illinois): Before the Fourth of July, 8-year-old Cooper Roberts was a typical child—running around, biking and playing with friends. He enjoyed playing sports, including soccer, baseball and football. Cooper’s life took an unexpected and difficult turn when he was shot in the Highland Park mass shooting attack on July 4, 2022. Cooper’s strength and courage in facing his resulting paralysis, and through numerous surgeries towards recovery, has been astonishing and inspirational.
Christopher Brennan, Daniel Golden, Janie Walsh, & Dr. Ines Janowicz (Advisory Board)
  • Daniel Golden (Chicago, Illinois): Police officer Daniel Golden was shot in the back while reportedly breaking up a fight in July 2022. Golden, a U.S. Army veteran, is now paralyzed from the waist down. He has already demonstrated his inner discipline and mental toughness in his rapid rehabilitation progress.
  • Christopher Medak (Los Angeles, California): Chris, a creative writer and assistant producer, was paralyzed in August 2017 while body-surfing off the coast of Los Angeles. While he was in the ocean, a rogue riptide put Chris in the way of a seven-foot wave, which picked him up and slammed him back down into just one foot of water. The blow shattered his C5 cervical vertebrae, resulting in quadriplegia. Helping others in similar circumstances has been a critical aspect of Chris’ physical recovery. In addition, he overcame drug and alcohol addiction and recently celebrated 35 years of service and commitment to his community.  

The Socrates Award honors the Socratic creed’s ideal of mens sana in corpore sano: “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” Christopher Brennan, chairman of the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation, created the Socrates Award during his tenure in sports media. In 2000, Brennan worked with his late father, Terry Brennan, former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, to set up this award, which originally recognized collegiate athletes who achieved a combination of athletic and academic success.

Following Brennan’s spinal cord injury that resulted in tetraplegia—partial-to-total loss of all four limbs and torso—the award shifted to its current form.

“After experiencing a spinal cord injury, the Socrates creed took on a profound meaning for me,” says Brennan. “I am honored to award these individuals who recognize that life, like sports, is full of incredible highs and frustrating lows—and that the daily pursuit of ‘a healthy mind’ and ‘a healthy body’ in the face of adversity is a true testament of one’s character.”

In 2021, the Socrates Award recipients each received a $1,000 grant. Each year since 2018, the foundation board has increased this amount, and anticipates that dollar amount will continue to grow in tandem with the organization’s fundraising efforts and events. The award honorees, as well as past awardees, will be recognized at the Annual Board and Advisory Board meeting on March 12, 2023, in Chicago.  

About

The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 charitable foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Foundation is committed to helping individuals, who have suffered cervical spinal injuries causing physical and cognitive disabilities, and their families and communities, by providing financial resources to help ensure a continuum of rehabilitation resources and provide opportunities for individuals to ultimately reach optimal health and independence. Please visit www.brennanrehabfoundation.org to learn more about donation opportunities and future fundraising events.

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2022 Wild Miles Wheelchair Race

Annual Wild Miles Wheelchair Race (5k), Fun Run (5k) and Costume Contest Details Announced; Sponsorship Opportunities Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christopher Brennan
Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation
847-372-7429
cjb1133@gmail.com
Click here to Download Event Information Sheet

The 2022 Wild Miles Wheelchair Race and Fun Run will be held in association with the Lake Forest Department of Parks and Recreation on Saturday, June 18th, 2022!   The event will take place near the near Lake Forest Recreation Center at Deer Path Community Park at 400 Hastings Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045. Get ready to roll, run, and dress for fun and prizes to benefit the Double Down Fund and the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation. Mark your calendars!

RACE/COSTUME EVENT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
BRONZE – $100 (help make event possible!)
SILVER – $250 (costume event sponsor!)
GOLD – $500 (largest logo on race T-shirt!)
PLATINUM – $1000 (race signage and T-shirt exposure, plus placement as a corporate sponsor on website)

Date: Saturday, June 18th
Location: Deer Path Community Park near the Lake Forest Recreation Center at 400 Hastings Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045
Registration: 8AM
Fun Run: 9AM
Wheelchair Race: 10AM
Costume Contest: ~11AM
Entry: Adults $35.00, Students $20, Children < 12 are free!
Lunch & LIVE Music: ~11:30AM
Award Ceremony: During/After lunch

Winners of the wheelchair race, fun run and best costume wheelchair event will receive cash prizes of $500 each!

Proceeds of this event go to the Double Down on Disabilities fund which provides monetary grants to individuals who have suffered a high cervical injury causing tetraplegia. Grants are used for medical equipment, prescriptions, therapy and in-home services.

About

The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 charitable foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois (501-C3 EIN: 84-3922164). The Foundation is committed to helping individuals, who have suffered cervical spinal injuries causing physical and cognitive disabilities, and their families and communities, by providing financial resources to help ensure a continuum of rehabilitation resources and provide opportunities for individuals to ultimately reach optimal health and independence. Please visit www.brennanrehabfoundation.org to learn more about donation opportunities and future fundraising events.

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2021 Socrates Award Grants Announced

Three Inspiring Tetraplegics Awarded Lifetime Grants from Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation

The Socrates Award recognizes individuals who have overcome disability with annual grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christopher Brennan
Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation
847-372-7429
cjb1133@gmail.com

CHICAGO – February 9, 2022 – Every year in the U.S., an estimated 17,000 people survive a spinal cord injury. While treatment and follow-up care varies according to the severity of the injury, medical expenses can easily exceed $500,000 in the first year alone.

These staggering costs have inspired the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation to create the Socrates Award, a lifetime cash grant to provide tetraplegics, individuals with paralysis caused by illness or injury that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso, with economic resources for therapy, equipment, prescriptions, and in-home care.

This year, three recipients have been selected to receive the Socrates Award for their efforts in working to achieve personal success while pursuing the daily grind of physical rehabilitation and recovery:

  • William Bloodsworth (Charleston, SC) served as a Major in the U.S. Army. After arriving home he suffered a horrific car accident which further damaged an already weak neck from years of military service. Surviving the crash, William was left a C3 complete Tetraplegic. He is waging the biggest battle of his life as he fights to recover the use of his fingers, hands and arms. Given his drive and determination, continued over achievement is in the cards for William.
  • Alex Nawaz (Palm City, FL) suffered a fall while carrying books to her car as a co-ed in college. Unfortunately, the fall caused severe trauma to her neck and an eventual vertebral artery occlusion, which damaged her spinal cord at the C4 level and below, leaving Alex as an incomplete Tetraplegic. Currently, Alex is working hard on recovering movement in all four limbs and has decided to head back to school. Recently, she has enrolled in Florida Atlantic University, pursuing a degree in Biology, an interest she gained from her injury.
  • Amber Bruce (Atlanta, GA) one day experienced low blood pressure and fainted. While falling she hit her head damaging her spinal cord at the C6 level. The unfortunate event left Amber an incomplete Tetraplegic. As a competitive business woman she has worked in advertising, at Coca-Cola and ESPN Game Day. She is determined to find any opportunity that may help in her recovery. Amber now has control over her arms and has made important strides, turning her injury into a reason to thrive. She is back working for Coca-Cola and their lucky to have her back.   

Since 2018, the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation annually recognizes the accomplishments of individual tetraplegics through the Socrates award. The award was originally created by Christopher Brennan, Chairman of the Foundation, during his tenure in sports media, and his late father, Terry Brennan, a former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, to honor collegiate athletes who achieved a combination of athletic and academic success. The award embodies the mantra of the Socrates creed, generally derived from the Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” which translates to “Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body.”

“After personally suffering a spinal cord injury, the Socrates creed took on a profound meaning for me,” says Christopher Brennan. “I am honored to award these individuals who recognize that like a sport, life itself is full of incredible highs and frustrating lows, and that the daily pursuit of ‘a healthy mind’ and ‘a healthy body’ in the face of adversity is the true testament of one’s character.”

This year, the Socrates Award recipients will each receive a $1,000 grant and the Foundation anticipates that number to continue to grow in tandem with the organization’s fundraising efforts and events. The honorees, as well as past awardees, will be recognized at the Annual Board and Advisory Board meeting on February 20, 2022 at Michigan Shores Club pending COVID-19 restrictions.  

About

The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 charitable foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Foundation is committed to helping individuals, who have suffered cervical spinal injuries causing physical and cognitive disabilities, and their families and communities, by providing financial resources to help ensure a continuum of rehabilitation resources and provide opportunities for individuals to ultimately reach optimal health and independence. Please visit www.brennanrehabfoundation.org to learn more about donation opportunities and future fundraising events.

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Save the Date! 2022 Annual Meeting and Socrates Award Presentation

The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation’s 2022 Board and Advisory Board meeting will be held Sunday, February 20th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette , IL.

This event will include a presentation by Monica A. Perez, PT, PhD. — Scientific Chair, Arms and Hands AbilityLab (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) & Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, (Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine Research Scientist, Hines VA.)

Dr. Perez received a Ph.D. in physical therapy from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She attended the University of Copenhagen as a post-doctoral fellow where she studied transmission in spinal cord networks. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Human Motor Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilitation Section at the National Institutes of Health, where she focused on studies of cortical physiology and plasticity. Her main research interests are in understanding how the brain and spinal cord contribute to the control of voluntary movements in healthy humans and in individuals with spinal cord injury. She uses this mechanistic knowledge to develop rehabilitation therapies following CNS damage.

Guests will be treated to an update on her research, new therapies being utilized for cervical injuries and presentation of the 2021 Socrates winners. An invitation covering this event will be published, shortly. Please save the date!

Giving Tuesday 2021

Dear Supporters,

The Double Down on Disabilities Fund is holding a “Giving Tuesday” event this November 30th and we need your help.

We have a goal to raise $75,000 from Giving Tuesday through the end of the year to help Socrates grant winners on their recovery journey from high cervical injury causing tetraplegia. A donation is truly meaningful and your support is essential in boosting our work of providing these individuals with economic resources for therapy, equipment, prescriptions and in-home care.

Here is how you can get ready to give:

  1. Mark your calendar: November 30th is Giving Tuesday 2020.
  2. Give. From November 30th until the end of the year, click here to donate.
  3. Spread the word. Encourage your friends and family to join you in creating real impact on November 30th by sharing what The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation and it’s Double Down On Disabilities Fund means to you and why you support our organization. Make sure to use the donate button or send your check to The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation at 1020 Walden Lane, Lake Forest, IL. 60045.

Please consider making a gift. Your kindness and generosity will help us continue to provide access to unique opportunities for our Socrates Winners with medical grants focused on improving treatment of cervical neck injuries. The Foundation works closely with the following entities; Rush Medical Center, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab and Froedtert in Milwaukee. 

Several Board and Advisory Board members have signed up for various medical studies being performed at these institutions. All studies are focused on improving the physical and mental damage caused by a debilitating cervical neck injury. 

Lastly, The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is an all volunteer organization which means 100% of your donation is spent on the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation is a 501C3 whose tax identification number is 84-3922164.

2021 Casino Night

On Friday, November 5th, the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation held a successful Casino Night raising money for it’s Double Down on Disabilities Fund.

Approximately 100 individuals enjoyed cocktails and hor d’oevers at Sunset Ridge Country Club. People were entertained with five black jacket tables, one craps table, one poker table and a golf simulator.

In addition to participating in casino games, patrons also had the opportunity to enter two golf contests. One was a par 3 contest for the opportunity to win $10,500. The second was a golf raffle for a chance to win a Ferrari Roma provided by Mancuso Ferrari worth $250,000. Spoiler alert! The raffle winner did not win the Ferrari this year, but did receive a Ferrari performance watch from Mancuso as a conciliation prize.

Everyone enjoyed gambling for three hours. Individual winners use their casino winnings to bid on prizes obtained from ABT Electronics. The event was sponsored  by Lake Forest Bank and Trust and Hill and Stone Insurance. Approximately, 10,000 dollars were raised during the evening.

2021 Wild Miles Wheelchair Race

Event Update 8/24: Due to the recent rise of COVID cases in Lake County, the Foundation has decided to cancel the Wild Miles Wheelchair Event scheduled for September 4th. The event will be rescheduled for next year.

Annual Wild Miles Wheelchair Race (3k), Fun Run (5k) and Costume Contest Details Announced; Sponsorship Opportunities Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christopher Brennan
Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation
847-372-7429
cjb1133@gmail.com
Click here to Download Event Information Sheet

The 2021 Wild Miles Wheelchair Race and Fun Run will be held in association with the Lake Forest Department of Parks and Recreation on September 4, 2021!   Get ready to roll, run, and dress for fun and prizes to benefit the Double Down Fund and the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation. Mark your calendars!

RACE/COSTUME EVENT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
BRONZE – $100 (help make event possible!)
SILVER – $250 (costume event sponsor!)
GOLD – $500 (largest logo on race T-shirt!)

Date: Saturday, September, 4th
Location: Conway Parkway in Lake Forest, IL (The races will be on Field Drive with the start and finish near the new Forester’s Hotel, 200 N. Field Dr, Lake Forest, IL. 60045)
Registration: 8:30-10AM (On Site)
Race: 10:30AM
Costume prize: ~11:30AM
Entry: Adults $35.00, Students $20, Children < 12 are free!
Lunch: ~11:30AM
Award Ceremony: During/After lunch

Winners of the wheelchair race, fun run and best costume wheelchair event will receive cash prizes of $500 each!

Proceeds of this event go to the Double Down on Disabilities fund which provides monetary grants to individuals who have suffered a high cervical injury causing tetraplegia. Grants are used for medical equipment, prescriptions, therapy and in-home services.

About

The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 charitable foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois (501-C3 EIN: 84-3922164). The Foundation is committed to helping individuals, who have suffered cervical spinal injuries causing physical and cognitive disabilities, and their families and communities, by providing financial resources to help ensure a continuum of rehabilitation resources and provide opportunities for individuals to ultimately reach optimal health and independence. Please visit www.brennanrehabfoundation.org to learn more about donation opportunities and future fundraising events.

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April 2021 Update

Dear Friends of the Foundation,

The year 2021, has started out similar to 2020. Things continue to be very tough on charities and our foundation is no exception. Our Board and Advisory Board meeting scheduled in February had to be moved due to Covid-19 and has been rescheduled for 4PM-6PM on Sunday, May 23rd at Sunset Ridge Country Club. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mathew Brennan and Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Stewart are event hosts. The Stewarts we thank as our event sponsor, as well!