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The Christopher&Dana Reeve Foundation today announced its Peer & Family Support Program (PFSP) has partnered with Philadelphias Magee Rehabilitation Hospital's Peer Mentor Program. By teaming with Magee, which has been providing mentoring since 1995, both organizations have a common goal of expanding mentoring across the country. The PFSP is a national peer-to-peer mentoring program that utilizes the real life experiences of those who are thriving while living with paralysis.

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.

"We are incredibly excited to welcome Magee to our Peer & Family Support Program," said Steve Coleman, Vice President, Peer & Family Support Program for the Reeve Foundation. "The partnership will continue to expand the Reeve Foundation's efforts to reach the broader paralysis community in need. Magee has been part of our NeuroRecovery Network since 2004 and now we are thrilled to have collaborated with them again for such a critical program."

Magee's Peer Mentor Program, founded in 1995, is designed to offer newly injured patients and their families the opportunity to speak with a specially selected and trained person who has faced life circumstances similar to their own--and are living full lives. In addition to Magee's Spinal Cord Injury Peer and Family Mentor groups, the Hospital also offers peer support for people with brain injuries, strokes and amputations.

"The Peer Mentor Program at Magee is excited to begin this new partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation," said Nancy Rosenberg, Psy.D., Director of Magee's Peer Mentor Program. "While our program is thriving and has been offering support to patients and families for many years, we believe this partnership only strengthens our mission."

The Reeve Foundation and Magee 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.

To kick off the partnership, Magee is hosting a discussion and reception with Reeve Foundation ambassador Scott Chesney on May 20 at the main hospital from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Chesney, an international speaker and life coach, has lived with paralysis for 24 years. All patients and their families are invited to attend this free event.

For more information, please visit ChristopherReeve.org/peer. For more information on Magee's other peer mentor programs, as well as the Scott Chesney event, please visit MageeRehab.org.

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