LAWRENCE, Ind. — A local nonprofit rehab center now seeks to reduce barriers to long-term care after receiving a $1 million grant.

The OrthoIndy Foundation awarded the grant to NeuroHope in Lawrence, a physical therapy rehab center.

NeuroHope founder Chris Leeuw is no stranger to the long road of recovery. Leeuw opened the rehab center in 2015 after spending years recovering from his very own accident. He was paralyzed after a swimming accident when he was 28 years old.

Years later, Leeuw now strives to expand access to long-term physical care and rehabilitation.

“When you deal through a catastrophic injury like that, you’re thrown into an entirely different world,” Leeuw said. “Recovery, mentally, physically emotionally, it’s a journey that affects you, your family and there’s a void in healthcare.”

He said he now aims to fill that void.

“We have awesome healthcare here,” Leeuw said. “We are very fortunate that we have great healthcare facilities and great hospitals, but long-term there is a big void in care. A lot of patients fall through the cracks.”

Healthcare costs can be expensive and overwhelming for many recovering from serious injuries, Leeuw said.

“Our mission revolves around making it affordable for people so they can actually have access to physical therapists, have access to some really state of the art interventions to help some neurological injury, spinal cord injury, stroke,” he said.

NeuroHope has been a life-changer for many local patients. No step is ever too small.

“You got to have faith,” said NeuroHope patient Juan Beamon. “You know, faith without works is dead. You just got to keep pushing on.”

Beaman, like many other NeuroHope patients, is learning to walk again after a traumatic incident. He was injured in a car wreck back in 2018, but then became paralyzed after a brain surgery soon after.

His time at NeuroHope serves a motivator.

“It kind of makes me think of a child being born that doesn’t know how to walk,” Beaman said. “It has to learn. [NeuroHope] is really home to me, like, I’ve come in and been accepted by so many people.”

The same holds true for other patients like Mark Bradley.

“May 18, I fell, blacked out at an airport, fell and broke my neck,” Bradley said.

There is not a task too challenging for the 65-year-old.

“I can do a lot more now than I could when I got here,” he said. “It’s been a nice, what, for five months now.”

Thanks to the new grant, Leeuw said his rehab center now awaits hundreds of new stories of triumph and success.

“This is an amazing opportunity for us to be able to help more people,” he said.

NueroHope has expanded its gym. It will also now be able to hire more staff, see more patients and help buy new equipment to help care for patients. Meanwhile, there is one goal in mind – reducing any barriers to care.