Triumph Foundation Blog Archives for July 2016

Artists For Trauma Multi Media Group Art Show

July 22, 2016

What it is All About eNewsletter

July 22, 2016
Outreach Update

I was recently asked what makes Triumph Foundation different than other charities?

I thought for a moment, and replied that Triumph Foundation makes quality of life a reality for people dealing with paralysis.  We are a high impact, grass roots, non-profit organization.  We have kept our hearts in the right place, and just try to serve people. 

Triumph provides emotional, practical, and physical support programs.  

Read the outreach update below to see what your support enabled just in the last month.  I know we sent you an outreach update in June, but we are going BACK-TO-BACK eNewsletters.  This is what it is all about.

Triumph exists because of your generosity.  We don't have a rich uncle, daddy warbucks, big celebrity connections, or an institution that predominately funds us...yet.  We rely on people like you and our Let'em Roll fundraiser.

We can do all the good works in the world, but we need capital to fuel the engine.  Our Casino Night is what propels us forward. 

Your donation will help continue Triumph's critical support services.

Buy Tickets Now

Thank you for your support,

Andrew Skinner
(661) 803-3700

Keep Moving Forward Grants
One of our organization's biggest program expenses is our Keep Moving Forward Grants. Your donations to Triumph helps offset financial burdens for people living with SCI. Each month we give away thousands-of-dollars worth in assistance to people with spinal cord injury. Here are some of the highlights of people you've helped:

Rosa was involved in a car accident in 2010 leaving her a T9 paraplegic. She feels like she lost a part of herself when she lost the ability to go places on her own. She works two part time jobs and attends college. She has to rely on family, friends, and Access paratransit to get where she needs to go. Your support helped Rosa get one step closer to regaining her independence by providing her with drivers training at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center.

Aaron was injured in a snow boarding accident in 2013 leaving him with a complete spinal cord injury. He is unable to move his arms or legs but fortunately he is able to breath on his own. We hooked him up with a voice IR environmental control unit. Now he is capable of controlling his T.V., lights, and thermostat. 

Jessica is our Ballard Rehab Life Series Group leader. She was injured in 2003 from a roll over car accident suffering a C6-7 spinal cord injury. She credits her accident to helping her find purpose in life and making an impact on this world in a positive way. She gained a new lease on life. Her and her husband recently moved into a new house and they needed help modifying the bathroom. They widened the doorway, created a roll in shower, and installed a new sink and toilet. Their new bathroom will be fully accessible so Jessica can take care of herself independently. 

Care Basket Outreach
Our Care Baskets & Backpacks are the first line of support providing the injured person and their family with resources to guide their way. They are a tool-kit to help someone rebuild their life after becoming paralyzed. Triumph Ambassadors visit hospitals providing mentorship and bringing a message of hope to people that are newly injured. 

We met Jason recently after he suffered a C6-7 spinal cord injury while he was practicing his acrobatic skills. Jason is a professional gymnast and performance artist from Las Vegas.  While he was training on the cables and was suspended upside down they suddenly snapped causing him to fall and Jason broke his neck.  His friends helped him come out to Los Angeles to go to UCLA and plans to transfer to Casa Colina.  He is making an awesome recovery and we are excited to watch him triumph.
Triumph recently met Jacob who broke his neck in a diving accident. He lives in Guam and was going with family and friends to their favorite swimming spot. Without thinking he dove in like he had always done, but the water level was much shallower than normal and he went headfirst into the ground breaking his C5 vertebrae in his neck becoming a quadriplegic. At 17 years old he has a lot of life in front of him and we know that it is going to have a greater purpose than he ever imagined.
When populations are high at hospitals we hold an inpatient party so we can connect with everyone all together that way no-one slips through the cracks. Triumph Foundation visited Rancho Los Amigos Hospital to meet 8 people that recently suffered Spinal Cord Injury.  With our team of Ambassadors, we delivered our Care Backpacks full of resources.
Thank you to our Ambassadors for coming out to meet the newly injured people. We were all fortunate to have people who got injured before us be our mentors. We made a lot of friends that day that will last a lifetime and are the future of Triumph Foundation. It is all about paying it forward.

Home Modifications
Our goal is to minimize the obstacles that people face after suffering a spinal cord injury. One challenge that many people face after being injured is wheelchair accessibility at home. Most people never plan to spend a large part of their life using a wheelchair, so they are not prepared to deal with the challenges of accessibility that that requires. Triumph helps people with planning, consulting, referrals, and at times, performing accessible remodels. We know that having access is having freedom and independence.

Triumph Foundation met Caesar at Henry Mayo after he got into a car accident. He suffered a spinal cord injury becoming a quadriplegic.  We followed him along his journey to Rancho Los Amigos Hospital providing him mentorship and a Care Basket full of resources.  When it was time for him to come home, his family asked for help building ramps to give him access.  Triumph partnered with the men's group from Heart of the Canyons church.  The workers came out and built ramps to allow Caesar to come home.   

Roll On Capitol Hill
Triumph Foundation is proud to be the Golden State Chapter of the United Spinal Association.  Our founder, Andrew recently visited Washington DC and attended the 5th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill Legislative and Advocacy Conference to advocate for legislation that impacts people with disabilities. 
Roll on Capitol Hill is United Spinal's annual legislative advocacy event that addresses issues that impact the health, independence, and quality of life of individuals living with spinal cord injuries and disorders. He along with a group of others from California met with the states Congress members to discuss several pieces of legislation that matter to people with disabilities.

Learn More 

Women's Retreat
Triumph Foundation held it's 3rd annual Women's Retreat for wives, girlfriends, and partners of men with SCI. This year they went to Ventura and stayed at a beach resort. They spent the day socializing and discussing issues of having a significant other and companion who is paralyzed. Spinal cord injury doesn't just affect the person who is injured, it also affects their loved ones and people around them.

Cooking with our Veterans
Triumph Foundation held a wheelchair friendly cooking clinic and made lunch for around 20 veterans at the Long Beach VA hospital. Andrew, showed that even a quadriplegic is able to cook a good tasting, healthy, and nutritious meal. He and Triumph Ambassadors Walter, Erik, Luis, Jimmy, and Damon cooked up some food to feed the paralyzed vets and tried to inspire and challenge everyone in attendance to make better food choices and cook their own meals. We hope this is just the start to their post spinal cord injury culinary skills.

Casino Night Fundraiser

Join us at our Let'em Roll Casino Night on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Valencia, CA.  

Don't miss the BEST PARTY of the year that will include a Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament, Craps, Blackjack and Roulette; PLUS we will have Prime Rib Dinner, Music, Dancing, and a Silent Auction.

Not only is this event a lot of fun and great for a date night, it is a celebration of all that we've accomplished and is our main fundraiser of the year that supports our programs. It is not about the games, it is about the cause.
Watch the sizzle reel:

Thank you

There are so many more stories worth sharing...your support changes lives.

Even if you can't personally attend our fundraiser, please consider buying a ticket for someone who otherwise could not afford one.   

Make a Donation 
We are so thankful for your support,

Andrew Skinner

Best News All Day

July 2, 2016

Outreach Update

Last month Triumph held our Wheelchair Sports Festival and we had many people say it was the highlight of their year.  Watch the video

But I know many of you would argue that it is not the best event we put on.  The best is our Let'em Roll Casino Night!

Get ready for the party of the year on Saturday, July 30th!!

The event will feature Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournament, Craps, Blackjack, and Roulette.  Plus Prime Rib Dinner, Dancing, and Silent Auction.  

All for only $100 if you buy your tickets before July 1st. It will be the best hundred bucks you spend all year.  Buy Tickets
Not only is the Casino Night fun and great for a date night, it is a celebration of all that we've accomplished and is our main fundraiser that supports our programs.  It is not about the games, it is about the cause. 
Read the Outreach Update below to see what you have made possible. It may be the best news you read all day. 

Even if you can't personally attend our fundraiser, please consider buying a ticket for someone who otherwise could not afford one.  

Thank you for your support,

Andrew Skinner
(661) 803-3700

Wheelchair Sports Festival

Our Wheelchair Sports Festival weekend had over 800 participants plus spectators and everyone had a chance to push the limits of their ability!  It was our BIGGEST EVENT EVER and we had many new people come out to play. 

Watch the video:

All of the events were a success; Diveheart held an amazing scuba diving program in the pool, participants in the WCMX rocked the skate park, people were challenged to race in our Powerchair Rodeo, many found their creative talents at our Artists for Trauma painting workshop, the Resource Fair increased awareness of community assets, and we opened many eyes and hearts to the number of people that live in our community with disabilities.  

The Wheelchair Sports Festival was an all inclusive, all fun, all safe, adapted athletics free-for-all. It doesn't get much better than that.
Check out Michael Hansel's pictures from Day 1 and Day 2

Paralympic Sport Club

Triumph Foundation is proud to announce that we have become the Paralympic Sport Club of Los Angeles.  This will allow us to develop our programs to help para-athletes participate in more sports and hopefully grow and nurture some future gold medalists!  

Click here for more information on Paralympic Sport Clubs

Care Basket Outreach

Our Care Baskets & Backpacks are the first line of support providing the injured person and their family with resources to guide their way. They are a tool-kit to help someone rebuild their life after becoming paralyzed. 
Brenda and her fiancé Darrack recently moved to California from the East coast to start their lives together. While 4 months pregnant, Brenda fell off the bed and broke her neck suffering a C4-6 spinal cord injury.  Thank God the baby is perfectly fine. She is getting good movement back on one side already and is getting better every day.  We pray for her recovery and health for the baby.
We met Terry, a software engineer from Venice Beach who recently had a procedure done during a operation on his neck that went wrong. He had damage to his spinal cord at the C5-6 level. He is getting a lot of return of function back and is able to walk a little already. He has a good attitude and a great support system with his girlfriend Anna, and we are optimistic about his transition home.
We met Michael who has a rare autoimmune disease who needed some rehab to regain strength.
Our ambassadors connect with patients at Rancho Los Amigos hospital to deliver Care Baskets.
We recently met Jose at Care Meridian's Oso House in Chatsworth who recently got into a car accident suffering an L2 spinal cord injury.  He is making a great recovery and is able to move his legs.  We plan to help him get the proper equipment to return home and regain mobility.
We met L.T. at Ballard Rehab. L.T. suffered a spinal cord injury from a gunshot wound while he was protecting a friend's house from a home invasion six months ago. We gave him a Care Backpack full of resources and information to help him rebuild his life.
We met Hank and his girlfriend Marissa at UC Irvine Medical Center. Hank was riding his motorcycle when someone pulled out in front of him crashing into his bike. He suffered multiple fractures including injury to his T4 vertebrae resulting in a spinal cord injury. He has an awesome attitude and a great support system. He is determined to ride again. We are excited to help him and Marissa transition back to life.
We met Leonard at Tustin Rehab. He recently suffered a spinal stroke suddenly becoming paralyzed. He has an awesome outlook on life and was grateful for a visit. He had lots of questions on normal activities of daily living and is anxious to get back to the good life of hanging out at home with his wife by the beach, drinking gin martinis and enjoying each day. We look forward to joining him for happy hour.

Equipment & Supply Exchange

Triumph Foundation helps repurpose old, used, and extra durable medical goods by giving them to people who are in need.  We call this our Equipment & Supply Exchange program. If you are in need or have items you'd like to donate, check out our website's Exchange to see what items are listed. 
Our friend Alfonzo is a frequent user of
our Exchange. He often uses it to find catheters and other urological supplies when his insurance won't cover enough to get him through the month.  Recently, while he was searching he saw a post by someone who was giving away two standing frames. Both were in need of work but Alfonzo was up for the challenge. 

He picked them up and spent time repairing them back into working condition. Keeping one standing frame for himself, he kept his eyes and ears open for someone else who was in need. 
A short time later he reconnected with 
his friend Rob who had been wanting for one for years but never was able to afford to purchase one. 

Alfonzo can say the rest:
"When I heard about (Rob's) situation I had to pay it forward and I gave him one of the standing frames that I got from the Exchange program. I took it to him, he was so happy, he hadn't really stood up since his accident four years ago. That made my day, that I can pay forward something that Triumph Foundation did by opening the Exchange program on there website.  From myself and Rob, thank you Triumph Foundation."

We met David at our Scripps Encinitas SCI Life Series Group. He has been injured just over 1 year and has gained a healthy amount of  weight back and had outgrown his wheelchair. He was very uncomfortable and looked awkward in a small wheelchair.  

Triumph came to the rescue.  We found him a loaner wheelchair that fits him much better and delivered it to him in San Diego.  He can keep it as long as he needs it. 

Nick Van Hecke was Athlete of the Year at our Wheelchair Sports Festival and helped us coach racquetball at the event.  He told us he has been looking for a better high performance wheelchair. His chair had seen some miles on it and Nick was looking for an upgrade.  It just so happened that our Ambassador Erik St. Amant had donated one of his old wheelchairs that was very aggressive and built for someone with good chair skills. Nick was a perfect match. 

Jaelynn is seven years old, a paraplegic, and lives in Montana. We received an email from her dad saying she was in need of a second wheelchair to use offroad to get around outside around their home in the country. Her dad was wondering if there was anyway we could help their family.  We had a small Zephyr wheelchair in our inventory that has been waiting for a good home. We shipped it out to Jaelynn and with some slight modifications by her dad, it fit perfectly and has some room for her to grow and use it for a number of years.   


Casino Night Fundraiser

You are invited to Triumph's Let'em Roll Casino Night Fundraiser on Saturday July 30, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Valencia.  The event will feature Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament, Craps, Blackjack and Roulette. It will also include Prime Rib Dinner, Dancing, and Silent Auction. 

This is our main source of funds to support our programs.  Please help us carry on our outreach. 

We need sponsors and silent auction items.  

Thank you

Your support of these programs changes lives.  

If you liked what you read, please join us in celebration of life after spinal cord injury at our Let'em Roll Casino Night fundraiser.  Download the flyer
Please consider giving monthly to Triumph Foundation.  A small gift each month helps keep our focus on serving.  It is an easy and affordable way for you to invest in people with disabilities.  

We are so thankful for your support,

Andrew Skinner