Positively Richmond: Samaritans Walk - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Positively Richmond: Samaritans Walk

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ASHLAND (WRIC) - Your life can change in a split second from an accident or the news that you have a degenerative disease.

But there's a gym that wants its clients to know that their prognosis isn't the final word.

On the surface this looks like any other gym out there, but take a closer look and you know it's about more than lifting weights.

Samaritans Walk in Ashland works to give strength and mobility to people with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders.

"We like to get people out of the chair, move them around and kind of evolve the workout from there," says founder David Brown.

The gym is practically a second home for Brown.

He's been a competitive power lifter for nearly four decades, got certified as a personal trainer nine years ago and then found his calling in 2009 with one special request.

"One of my clients came to me and asked if I'd consider working with his son who'd had a broken neck from a go-cart accident."

Brown had additional training and it's been one success story after another.

22-year-old Kevin Semones has CMT muscular dystrophy.

"I was diagnosed when I was three years old," he says. "It was a gradual thing. I used to be able to walk and I started using the chair when I was 13 or 14. The one on one environment is extremely helpful and it's not total physical therapy, just good old fashioned workouts."

Brown says working with these clients is beyond rewarding and he's realized anything is possible after working with one in particular.

"It's all hands on," he says. "What muscles are working, what muscles are not working what are some of the abilities and limitations of the ones that do work."

"[Semones] came to us in a chair. We had to physically pick him to the work tables that we're on. Now he walks. He's walking and driving and has a much better quality of life than he did two years ago."

It doesn't get much better than that.

The milestones reached here every day make Samaritans Walk Positively Richmond.

For a more in-depth look at some of our Positively Richmond stories, watch Virginia Currents on WCVE.

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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