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  • 1980 Thru-hiker Todd Gladfelter Paralyzed After Fall from Roof

    The day after Thanksgiving, Todd Gladfelter fell from his roof and broke 3 vertebrae in his neck. He was paralized over much of his body and now has a rod in his neck, with 9 screws holding it in place. “One day a thriving, strong, successful, agile chainsaw carving artist, the next day, someone has to feed him and wipe his chin,” is how his wife Cindy (AT ’78-79) described how his world changed in the blink of an eye.

    Many in the A.T. community may know of Todd’s wife, author Cindy Ross, who met her future husband on his 1980 thru-hike after she had hiked the A.T. herself the two years before. (How they met is chronicled in the book about Cindy’s 2-year A.T. trek in A Woman’s Journey, which has been in print perhaps longer than any other A.T. book.) Together, they have hiked and biked many trails, including the Continental Divide Trail, which they traversed with their young children.

    Over the years Cindy and Todd have hosted many hikers in their home near the A.T. near Hawk Mountain, PA including many veterans who participated in the A.T. Warrior Hike program. That inspired them to start an organization, River House. The non-profit facilitates healing through nature, in the form of outdoor adventures, recreational opportunities and workshops for veterans and their families who have been affected by trauma. Some of those vets have been paralyzed.

    Todd is an incredibly strong, independent, creative and resourceful person; Cindy is too. Cindy has and will be a fierce, powerful, and eloquent advocate for Todd, but they need help. Lots of help. Medical bills not covered by insurance are already mounting; they will also need expensive adaptive machinery to allow Todd to maneuver in his home and travel. In addition to an adaptive van and specialty wheelchair, Todd will need a hoyer lift in his home to assist in moving himself onto and off of chairs, beds, baths, etc.Todd and Cindy's log home (which they built themselves with their own hands) will need to undergo extensive changes to accommodate his chair as well as provide him with the ability to begin to carry out basic tasks with specialized adaptive tools. Once Todd is discharged from his current inpatient therapy location, in home physical therapy will begin to continue his healing and progress.

    More information can be found in a story in the Reading Eagle today at
    www.readingeagle.com/2021/12/13/fundraiser-schuylkill-county-chainsaw-carving, and on a gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/todd-glad...ad-to-recovery. Cindy is posting updates on her Facebook page frequently, and I’m sure will post to her blog at https://cindyrosstraveler.com/ when she finds the time.

    Please send them prayers and consider lending any other support you might hope for if you were in the same situation.

    Laurie P.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 1980 Thru-hiker Todd Gladfelter Paralyzed After Fall from Roof started by Lauriep View original post
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