NextSteps Chicago Partners with Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for Peer & Family Support Program

Feb 14, 2013, 14:34 ET from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Goal is to expand mentoring of those living with paralysis across Chicago

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation today announced it has partnered with NextSteps Chicago in Illinois to help launch the Reeve Foundation's Peer & Family Support Program (PFSP) in the state. By partnering with NextSteps Chicago, both organizations have a common goal of expanding mentoring across the state of Illinois. The PFSP is a national peer-to-peer mentoring program that utilizes the real life experiences of those that are thriving while living with paralysis.

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The mission of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's PFSP is to provide critical emotional encouragement, as well as, local and national information and resources to people living with paralysis, and their families and caregivers. Mentors empower people living with paralysis, including our service men and women, their families and caregivers, to achieve a healthy and full life.

This program matches people seeking assistance with a Reeve Foundation Certified Mentor who will be of similar age, gender, level of injury, ethnicity and location when possible. Throughout the process both the client and the Reeve Mentor will have access to all of the resources the Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center has to offer.

"We are incredibly excited to welcome NextSteps Chicago to our Peer & Family Support Program," said Steve Coleman, Vice President, Peer & Family Support Program for the Reeve Foundation.  "As they are already a Reeve Foundation Community Fitness & Wellness Facility, this partnership will continue to expand the Reeve Foundation's efforts to reach the broader paralysis community in need."  

"NextSteps Chicago's quest is to find the most progressive spinal cord injury research and rehabilitative methods available while we work towards this goal," said Jon O'Connor, Director of NextSteps Chicago. "It is imperative we maintain our health in body and mind and live for the moment while being as productive and positive as possible." 

The Reeve Foundation and NextSteps Chicago are actively recruiting new clients: people living with paralysis, family members and caregivers who are in need of guidance by a Certified Mentor. The benefits of talking to a Certified Mentor include a clear understanding of the realities of paralysis, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, confidence building and motivation, understanding of the science and progress in research of paralysis, how to avoid secondary conditions, and more.

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About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity SealThe Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Award No. 1U59DD000838. For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-539-7309.

About NextSteps Chicago
NextSteps Chicago is a spinal cord injury rehabilitation center in Willow Springs, IL, a suburb of Chicago. We are proud to work with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation in this effort.  More information about NextSteps Chicago can be found at

SOURCE Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation