Team NeuroHope at 2017 Monumental Marathon!

For the third consecutive year, Team NeuroHope ROCKED OUT the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and raised more than $7,000 in the process! NeuroHope Board Treasurer Allison Leeuw quarterbacked our team of 20+ runners, joggers and walkers (with an assist from Events Coordinator Justin Davis) to make our third year the largest yet!














A heartfelt and resounding THANK YOU goes to our entire team, and each and every one of the donors that pledged support to their individual efforts, and a special shout-out goes to the teams at Hensley Legal Group who came out in full force as race participants and volunteers with the Monumental organizers!















Team NeuroHope at the 2016 Monumental Marathon

2016monumentalcluster2016_monumentalboothFor the second straight year, Team NeuroHope ROCKED IT at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon!

We set up shop with a tent at the finish line to join in the race festivities, and our team of 24 runners / walkers and 16 volunteers had a blast in the process.

The numbers are in!

A grand total of $7,850 from 136 donors was raised for NeuroHope.  Every dollar will directly fund the supplementary care we provide our clients on their road to recovery.

A special thanks goes out to this year’s fundraising team, and each and every one of their supporters.  Let’s do it again next year!

Team NeuroHope 2016:

Charle Baer, Melanie Brown, Samantha Burgess, Carol Campbell, Justin Davis, Marita Ducanes, Renee Edwards, Rhonda Fishel, Nora Foster, Christina Freund, Georgine Getty, Lynette Goodwin, Sarah Harnish, Joella Hedge, Cindy Huffman, Dave Huffman, Monica Huffman, Allison Leeuw, Gene Leeuw, Monice Leeuw, John Moehring, Kelson Moran, Farah Nasser, Beth Overmyer, Andrea Palmquist, Annette Perry, Chris Perry, Sophie Perry, Donna Peterson, Dillon Rosing, Cathy Rudy, Dave Rudy, Jessica Wenclewicz, Markus Wilds, Julie Wojtaszek


Aika’s Story: From Paralysis to Walking The Monumental Marathon

In 2013, Aika Yoshida (an orthopedic physical therapist) suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury that initially left her paralyzed with an uncertain future.  Aika’s remarkable recovery led her to walk – yes, walk – a portion of last year’s Indianapolis Monumental Marathon with Team NeuroHope.

An athlete. A fighter. A motivator.

Aika shares her story below, and inspires EVERY ONE OF US!

Celebrating Today

You love to run. What would you do if you suddenly lost that ability? It’s human nature to wish for something more instead of celebrating what we already have.

On July 28, 2013, my life changed forever. I had an accident practicing acrobatic yoga, which resulted in a C6 incomplete spinal cord injury. Initially, I was paralyzed from the neck down and I was hospitalized for 1 month. I had to learn my new body and hope to regain some mobility. I always considered myself an athlete: a marathon runner, rock climber, mountain biker, and snowboarder. Not only did I loose my identity as an athlete, but I also thought I lost my career as an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist. In the past, running was one way to manage my stress. I felt completely lost and didn’t know how to cope with the new life that I was suddenly forced to face. My role has completely flipped, as I became a patient to receive therapy instead of providing therapy.

With help from numerous outstanding health care providers, generous support from friends and co-workers, my stubbornness/determination and some luck, I regained the ability to walk. I also returned to climbing as an adaptive climber with help from the non-profit organization called Paradox Sports based in Boulder, CO. Through this experience, I realized that I am still the same person who loves physical activities and has the heart of an athlete despite my disability. I felt a tremendous accomplishment when I first walked 1 mile on my own which took me nearly 30 minutes. Over the next 2 years, I kept increasing my speed and duration of walking just like how I used to train for marathons.

Twenty-eight months after my injury, I stood on a starting line to walk 13.1 miles using my carbon fiber leg brace and 2 walking sticks at the Monumental Half Marathon with my former inpatient rehab physical therapist, Nora Foster and co-worker, Ray Varner. This was a big challenge for me physically but also mentally to face many runners while reminding myself that I no longer have the ability to run in the process. I chose this race because I wanted to celebrate my recovery but also wanted to raise money and be part of Team NeuroHope where Nora now works providing therapy to those with injuries similar to my own. NeuroHope is an innovative physical therapy clinic in Indianapolis. Chris Leeuw, also a spinal cord injury survivor founded this clinic to provide long-term rehabilitation and wellness following neurologic injury. As a physical therapist myself, I understand the importance of long-term rehab, health and wellness, but unfortunately, many patients cannot afford the service due to financial limitations and/or insurance restrictions. We are also lacking places and groups for individuals like Chris and myself to be a part of after discharge from initial rehab. I am excited to announce that Team NeuroHope raised over $8,000 in 2015 with support of many generous donors, which allowed the clinic to purchase new equipment.

Crossing the 13.1 mile-finish line on my own two feet with my formal therapist and co-worker had a bigger impact on my life than past full marathons I’ve completed. I still love challenges as an athlete, however, my obstacles and goals are now just different. It’s important to focus on my current ability instead of my disability, so I can enjoy my new challenges. To promote mental and physical health to all people, I’ve used my journey as an opportunity to start Indy’s first adaptive climbing club to share my love of activities and to promote health and wellness with people with physical (dis)abilities.

Everyone faces adversity, whether it is apparent or not. The best thing I’ve learned through this journey is to focus on this present moment and to celebrate today.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

-Aika Yoshida

On November 5th, Team NeuroHope will be lining up again at the 2016 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in!  Learn more about our team members and pledge your support to their run here!

Team NeuroHope at the Monumental Marathon!

Team NeuroHope was out in full force at last week’s Indianapolis Monumental Marathon!NeuroHope group_Marathon

A HUGE THANK-YOU goes out to our friends and family who braved the cold to participate in the race and festivities, and all of their supporters who contributed in the fundraising effort.  The total amount pledged?

A resounding grand total of $8,790! 

THAT is an incredible number that blew our initial goal out of the water, and gives us the funds necessary to purchase the $5,000 hydraulic therapy mat that has been on our wish list for quite some time.

A shout-out out to all 31 team members that walked / ran the 5K, and the half marathon in support of NeuroHope is posted below.  You are all true rock stars!

Special recognition is needed for the amazing Aika Yoshida (far right in the photo on the left).  A spinal cord injury survivor herself,  Aika walked, yes WALKED the 13.1 miles with time to spare!

We also can’t forget our volunteers who worked the finish line all morning handing out water, medals, and bananas to more than 17,000 race participants. We are overwhelmed by your support.


2015 Monumental Marathon Marathon NeuroHopeTeam:Kristen_marathon

  • Stephanie Adkins
  • Victoria Andrews
  • Larry Carter
  • Stephanie Deaton
  • Shannon Dillard
  • Erin Dull
  • Renee Edwards
  • Diana Fjeld
  • Brent Foster
  • Nora Foster
  • Jenny Garza
  • Georgine Getty
  • Lynnette Goodwin
  • Carrie GraunkeAllisonblanket
  • Sarah Harnish
  • Brooke Kroll
  • Allison Leeuw
  • David Marks
  • Amy McRay
  • James McRay
  • Kelson Moran
  • Melissa Owen
  • Jeanie Pelt
  • Donna Peterson
  • Betsie Reed
  • Tina Repking
  • Sara Sale
  • Kelly Shaw
  • Stephanie Shaw
  • Amber Soper
  • Sherry Surface
  • John Viray
  • Julie Wojtaszek
  • Kristen Yates
  • Aika Yoshida

Afterrace_collageNeuroHope’s Monumental Marathon Volunteers:bananavolunteers_collage

  • Carol Campbell
  • Justin Davis
  • Elaine Drew
  • Maurita Ducanes
  • Rhonda Fishel
  • Gene Leeuw
  • Monice Leeuw
  • John Mead
  • Beth Overmyer
  • Carol Vojt

What an event. Allison did an amazing job organizing and leading our team. Let’s make it bigger next year!