Making great strides at the 8th Annual Journey Forward Walk

More than one dozen spinal injury victims, each with an inspirational story, walked a mile in front of friends and family on their road to recovery.

"Never thought in a million years I thought I'd do this," said Alaina Goodwin.

A little more than a year ago, Goodwin suffered a strike in her spine and was paralyzed from the waist down. Saturday, she took another big step in her recovery.

"Amazing to see everybody walk. A lot of these people were told they'd never walk again, like myself included. It's inspirational to see everybody walking," said Goodwin.

The 8th Annual Journey Forward 'Mile Walk' helps raise money for scholarships for clients who need assistance to cover the cost of physical therapy sessions at Journey Forward, a Canton-based paralysis rehabilitation center. Sessions cost $100 per hour and most are not covered by health insurance.

"We are an intense exercise-based program," said Dan Cummings, founder of Journey Forward.
Cummings founded the program in 2008, eight years after he suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 19. He rehabilitate and was able to walk again.

"The medical field these days, after a couple years they cut you off, they pump you with medications and say go life your life. These people deserve more than that. They deserve way more than that," said Cummings.

Like Meredith Koch who was paralyzed from the waist down after a piano she was helping move fell out of a pickup truck and crushed her the day before her 25th birthday.

"It just felt incredible less than two and a half years ago after I might not ever walk again, I just walked a mile completely unassisted," said Koch.

When Journey Forward started, they had two specialists and nine clients. Today, they have 19 specialists and 95 clients.