June 12, 2011 (La Mesa) James Hartwell's big wish when he started physical therapy at the Challenge Center in La Mesa was to walk across the stage to be handed his diploma at his high school graduation at Mt. Carmel High School. For most seniors, this would be a done deal. But for Hartwell, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a motocross accident, and had to spen most of the last two years in a wheelchair, it seemed it might take a miracle.
Luckily, he found that miracle in a little white building in La Mesa that holds the Challenege Center.
After completing therapy elsewhere, he still required the help of his father, braces, and a special walker to take a few steps. He wasn't able to get up on his own. Hartwell's insurance company told him they had provided as much physical therapy coverage as allowed.
This is where the Challenger Center came in. With the help of his therapist, Tiffany Piquilloud, at the Challenge Center who showed
him some new technique and taught him how to use his body and legs more normally, he was able to stand up from his wheelchair.
Because of his amazing attitude, work ethic, and help from the Challenge Center, Hartwell was able to join the rest of friends as they walked across the stage for that special piece of paper.