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Lakeside resident Dave Thomas among honorees feted for overcoming life-altering injuries

East County News Service

May 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Lakeside resident Dave Thomas will be among those honored at the 2017 “Victories of Spirit” event celebrating the power of rehabilitation and the strength of the human spirit.  The 27th annual celebration held by Sharp Rehabilitation and Sharp HealthCare Foundation  will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, May 19, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.  The title sponsor is United Healthcare. The event will honor the power of rehabilitation and pay tribute to extraordinary individuals and community organizations for their inspirational achievements and contributions to others.

“The Victories of Spirit event celebrates the power of rehabilitation and strength of the human spirit, honoring former rehabilitation patients who have overcome personal tragedy with courage and strength,” said David Brown, System Director of Rehabilitation Services for Sharp HealthCare. “We appreciate and honor their achievements and commitment of giving back to the community.”

Three individuals and one local organization will be honored with the Eagle Spirit Award, an award that symbolizes the Navajo sign of the most potent healing power. This year's individual award recipients are Lance Magin, Kalim Smith, Dave Thomas and Disability Support Programs and Services. These compelling stories will be shared at the event.

2017 Victories of Spirit Eagle Spirit Award Winners

Patient Achievement:

Dave Thomas

In 2015, Dave suffered a stroke and wasn’t expected to live. But Dave’s family and the support of his community helped him defy the odds. With outpatient therapy in the pool at Sharp Grossmont Rehabilitation, he works hard to overcome his physical challenges. Today, Dave volunteers at El Capitan High School coaching water polo. His competitive spirit, sense of humor and positive attitude inspire everyone he meets.

Lance Magin

Lance sustained a spinal cord injury in a 1974 motorcycle racing accident that left him paralyzed. He returned to racing and became the first paraplegic to compete in the Baja 1000. Lance's relationship with Sharp Rehabilitation began in 1984 and continues today. As an advocate for the disabled community, Lance co-founded the Motorsports Program for the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp in San Diego for disabled children.

Kalim Smith

Kalim is an expert in languages and cultures, as well as a renowned creator of traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments (Ipu Heke). His enthusiasm for life continued after a devastating spinal cord injury in 2011. Today, Kalim helps others by serving as an advocate for accessible housing, parking and improved beach access in the Carlsbad community.

Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS)

DSPS was established to accommodate the academic and support needs of students with disabilities. The organization offers a variety of specialized classes and services, including assistive technology, designed to help students with disabilities achieve their educational, personal and vocational goals.

Programs Benefiting from 2017 Victories of Spirit

Advancing the Future of Rehabilitation

This annual celebration is sponsored by Sharp HealthCare Foundation and title sponsor United HealthCare.  The event will benefit Sharp Rehabilitation Services and its programs, including:

§ Adaptive Sports Programs, including adapted water sports, wheelchair tennis quad rugby and wheelchair lacrosse.

§ Challenged Women’s Support Initiative, which provides volunteer and employment opportunities, education and peer support services to women living with physical disabilities in San Diego.

§ Traumatic Brain Injury Support Programs, which include services such as adapted driving assessment and training, community integration, peer support and mentoring programs, and neuropsychological services.

§ General Rehabilitation Fund, which allows Sharp Rehabilitation Services to fund programs and services as needs arise throughout the year.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Sharp Rehabilitation Services at 858-939-4468 or visit www.sharp.com/rehab.

About Sharp HealthCare Foundation

Since 1979, Sharp HealthCare Foundation has played a pivotal role in providing medical services, clinical research and health education services that help thousands of patients and their families. Gifts from individuals, businesses and other foundations help extend much-needed health and wellness services into all corners of the community. Sharp HealthCare Foundation supports the charitable mission of Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, Sharp McDonald Center, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers. Since Sharp HealthCare Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, all contributions are exempt from federal income taxes to the fullest extent allowed by law. Learn more about Sharp HealthCare Foundation by visiting www.sharp.com/foundation or calling 858-499-4800.