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Calendar raises money for victims of spinal cord injuries

Published On: Dec 04 2013 04:48:09 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2013 06:57:46 PM CST

Good Shepherd calendar

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

An accident can change a person's life instantaneously and lead to days, months and years of recovery.

Kevin Oldt experienced one of those life-changing moments more than a decade ago.

"It was really gut-wrenching. There was a lot of confusion in my mind….All of the emotions." Oldt said.

Months after getting into a snowmobile accident and becoming paralyzed Oldt started treatment at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation in Allentown.

"The only way I got here was through Good Shepherd and what Good Shepherd has done for me," Oldt said.

One of Oldt's greatest milestones includes his first steps after the accident.

"The robotic legs were the start of my walking....The Ekso is what started the whole thing. It was a start, now we're going further and further with non-motorized legs," Oldt said.

Oldt is still working with non-motorized legs.

Oldt said he was fortunate to have a good insurance plan, but not everyone he sees at Good Shepherd does.

"I want to give back to the guys that don't have the ability to do what I do," Oldt said.

But the credit goes to Betsy Hartman, who dreamed up an idea to help those who can't afford the care they need.

"It started out in dream. We have great, productive people that suffered terrible injuries, spinal cord injuries, but life goes on," said Betsy Hartman, a registered nurse at Good Shepherd.

Hartman came up with the idea to create a 12-month calendar called "Independence Days" that features the stories of 12 different patients at Good Shepherd.

"We went around and took photos of 12 people doing what they love to do," Hartman said.

Oldt was included in the calendar as the December feature. His picture was taken in front of the Conrad Raker statue just outside the facility.

"That statue means a lot to me….My picture is with Mr. Raker holding a child with a disability back when a disability was a disease, not a curable thing," Oldt said.

Hartman said she also wanted to show the Lehigh Valley that injuries can happen to anyone at anytime, but patients can live thriving lives.

Good Shepherd is selling the calendar's for $12. They can be purchased by visiting the Good Shepherd gift shop. You can also contact Betsy Hartman at (610)-778-9220 or bhartman@gsrh.org.