Rosa, We Have Your Back!

For: Rosa Malloy-Post Trust
Organizer: Rosa's parents and Lilly Goodman
Rosa, We Have Your Back! (Rosa Malloy-Post Trust)
$75,508
of $90,000 goal
83% Complete
Raised by 641 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Rosa, 23, is a fierce athlete who worked as a senior wilderness guide for Outward Bound, Open Sky, and the National Outdoor Leadership School. She lives in Durango, Colorado, has been taking pre-nursing classes at Fort Lewis College, and is an accomplished mountain biker, rock climber, hiker, and skier. In January she adopted Hank, a puppy from the local shelter, and began training him to join her on outdoor adventures.

On May 4, Rosa was leading a climb near Canyonlands National Park when a hold broke on her and she fell, severely injuring her spinal cord. Her friend and climbing partner saved her life. Since her first day out of spinal surgery, Rosa has envisioned herself as a para-athlete, and all of us who know Rosa—her strength, determination, and sense of humor—can see her in the Paralympics.

In mid-July, after 8 weeks in rehab at Craig Hospital in Denver, Rosa returned to Durango to start the long journey of building a vibrant life as a paraplegic. Within one week, she’d begun working 3 days a week at a local gear store and started an exercise regimen that includes swimming 3 days a week, weight training twice a week, and adaptive yoga once a week. Three months after her accident, Rosa attended an adaptive sports summit and rode 12 miles on a hand-powered bicycle.

Launching an active, independent life as a paraplegic is an enormous undertaking— both emotionally and financially. Rosa and her family are tremendously grateful for the outpouring of support she has received from an extensive network of friends, family and community.

The generous donations—both monetary and in-kind—made by more than 550 people have helped make possible the many costly renovations necessary to make Rosa’s home wheelchair accessible with ramps, walkways, an adapted bathrooms and a medically appropriate bed. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

Your contributions have enabled Rosa's parents to stay in Durango for two months to provide emotional support, oversee the renovation process, and get all the systems in place that Rosa will need to live on her own. They will also help cover a portion of the medical bills that are pouring in. Rosa’s health insurance has declined payment not only for her ambulance transfer from the trauma hospital to rehab, but also the $25,000 bill for the rescue helicopter that brought her to emergency care! (We are appealing this ruling and will provide updates.)

The hospital social worker estimates that first-year costs for paraplegics run to about $300,000.  We anticipate at least $50,000 in out-of-pocket hospital costs alone. But hospital costs are just the beginning. Rosa’s outpatient therapies are not covered, yet they are essential to her continuing physical progress.

The single costliest item that we are currently raising funds for is a wheelchair-accessible minivan. In order to be independently mobile, Rosa needs a car with an automated ramp and an interior configuration that enables her to transfer from wheelchair to driver’s seat. Converting a vehicle for wheelchair accessibility costs at least $26,000 -- on top of the cost of the car.

Please help support Rosa’s recovery. Her friends in Durango have united to help her. A local dog trainer has been volunteering to train Hank to be a therapy dog. Friends in Durango, Canada, and the U.K. are running races in Rosa’s name. Local businesses have donated proceeds on designated days to Rosa’s fund. Open Sky and Outward Bound have made contributions, and over 30 Outward Bound field guides have donated a day's pay. Durango fire fighters have volunteered to build Rosa a wheelchair accessible outdoor walkway. We hope you’ll be part of this effort. We’ll keep you updated on Rosa’s progress. She has so much to contribute to the world—let’s show her we truly have her back.

If you'd like to make a contribution by check rather than online, please make the payment out to The Rosa Malloy-Post Trust and click on "Contact Organizer" (below) for the street address.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 1, 2013

Posted on September 1, 2013

Sept. 01, 2013

We’ve had a big week in effort to create independence for Rosa, and we thank everyone who has helped to make it happen. We’ve posted some new photos in the gallery so we can share these developments with you.

First, on Aug. 27 and 28, a small army from the Durango Fire & Rescue Department came to Rosa’s house to tackle several tasks: 1) spreading mulch across the huge back yard; 2) building a paved walkway from the driveway in front of the house, around the side, and across the back so that Rosa has wheelchair access; 3) adjusting the bathroom door to make the space more wheelchair-friendly; 4) installing the electrical for a remote to control Rosa’s bedroom ceiling fan and light. The paved walkway was a big job that involved sledgehammering the old, crumbing concrete and removing it all by wheelbarrow into a truck, leveling the ground, creating a sand foundation, and setting about 150 brick pavers, including many that had to be cut to fit. On Tuesday, about 24 firefighters contributed to the effort, including Chief Dan Noonan. On Wednesday, about 8 members of the Wildland Crew came to finish the paving. We are so grateful to the Fire & Rescue Department for this fantastic support, and especially to firefighters Nancy Reno for initiating and organizing this effort and Steve List for his skills and leadership.

On Thursday, August 29, the Rock Lounge climbing gym held a benefit climbing competition for Rosa. It was great fun, with over 40 people of all ages turning out. Lots of kids and adolescents competed, as well as adult men and women. After the competition, winners were announced and then the gym asked Rosa to draw raffle tickets. There were great prizes, spirits were high, and the benefit raised at least $1000 for Rosa’s campaign. Thank you, Rock Lounge! And thanks to all who came.

This week, we also received proceeds from the fantastic Zap Mama concert that Tami Graham produced, partially as a benefit for Rosa. The concert raised $948 for Rosa’s fund, a great help. Thank you, Tami, and all who volunteered, attended, and danced!

On Friday, August 30, Rosa had her second private adaptive yoga session with the owners of Yoga Durango, Michele Lawrence and Sheryl McGourty. Michele and Sheryl are donating their time for weekly sessions with Rosa; they are committed to learning more about teaching adaptive yoga and are already planning to attend formal trainings. Rosa is finding these sessions to be calming, strengthening, and to help with back pain. Michele and Sheryl have encouraged Rosa to participate in trainings with them, with the vision that she might also eventually teach adaptive yoga. Thank you, Michele and Sheryl, for this wonderful contribution!

Saturday, August 31 was the date set for London Runs for Rosa. We are very grateful to Charlotte Bence and David Renton for organizing the run, and to all of you who ran or pledged. Since Charlotte and David believe there would have been a larger turnout if not for the emergency demo against war with Syria, they hope to organize another event in September.

As we search for grants or public assistance (with very few possible resources available) to help us buy a wheelchair-accessible car, we are excited and appreciative that we are continuing to receive generous donations.


Posted on August 14, 2013

Posted on August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013

A lot has happened since our last update, and Rosa has made tremendous progress.

The Post-Rehab Transition

Rosa spent eight weeks in rehab at Craig Hospital in Denver, where her constant companions were her girlfriend, Caroline Goodman and her dear friend Paul Arredondo, who came from California to be with her throughout rehab. Rosa and Caroline returned to Durango in mid-July. Within a week, Rosa started a job at Backcountry Experience, a gear store in town. Along with starting work, Rosa is swimming a few times a week at the rec center, going to Crossfit training to strengthen her upper body, and using the adaptive road bike that Mike Kane, a friend in Leadville, passed down to her. Many daily tasks that were challenging for Rosa—even two weeks ago—have become much easier because of the strength and stamina she is developing.

Creating an Accessible Home

Two generous friends, Jim Martucci and Barry Livingston, built a beautiful ramp and small deck on Rosa’s house. They also installed other adaptations to make the house accessible and safe, and the landlord found a beautiful, nearly new cooking range with front panel controls at a local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. Hank, Rosa’s dog, seems to like his new digs and has a big fenced yard to roam in (along with his two canine roommates). Rosa lives with her good friends Lilly Goodman and Nick Chambers, and the place feels homey. Swain Scales, a fellow former wilderness guide, is helping finish some work on the house and walkway. 

Launching a Para Athletic Life

Rosa drove to Telluride August 8-11 to attend the No Barriers Summit, which highlights adaptive sports. She got to try out cross country mountain biking, downhill mountain biking, and took a 12-mile ride on a road bike (hand cycle). She came home exhausted, aching, and happy. She is hoping to have an adaptive mountain bike of her own in the next few months and to begin adaptive skiing this winter. In the meantime, she is continuing with swimming and weight training.

Setting Up Systems for Independence

Rosa’s dad, Charlie, and I are in Durango since for 6 to 8 weeks to help her get settled and set things up to support Rosa’s independence and mobility. Rosa is getting stronger every day. Adjusting to life as a paraplegic is a long and hard process, but Rosa’s strength and determination are propelling her forward.

Gratitude

Our community of friends here and around the world has been beautiful, with many people contributing love, time, skills, connections, adaptive gear, and financial support. So many friends have supported Rosa through this journey. On August 16, Zap Mama will be performing in Durango and the producer, Tami Graham, will donate part of the proceeds to Rosa’s fund. After Lilly Goodman and Nancy Brittain organized Durango Races for Rosa, our friend David McNally organized a Toronto Run for Rosa, which inspired Charlotte Bence to initiate London Runs for Rosa on August 31. In case you know anyone in London who might be interested in participating, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/224184284401202/?ref=br_tf. A Durango friend, Anne Hosey, organized a benefit yard sale. More than 30 Colorado Outward Bound guides have donated a day’s pay. Nancy Reno, a Durango firefighter, is organizing other firefighters to help with handyman tasks. Traci Moriarty of Wags Between Barks Dog Training has been training Hank to be a therapy dog on a volunteer basis. Rosa’s aunt, Libby Post, has offered to contribute her professional fundraising skills to Rosa’s campaign. We are truly overwhelmed and moved by these efforts and so many others we don’t have room to mention—and also by the more than 540 donors who have made contributions.

Many friends have been continuously loving and helpful throughout these months. We can’t possibly name all the people who have been there for Rosa, but we do want to particularly thank Caroline Goodman, Paul Arredondo, Lilly Goodman, Cecil Goodman, Nick Chambers, Greg Young, Abby Wehner, Wes Smith, Nancy Brittain, Cindy Wendling, Richard Malcolm, and Rosa’s sister, Zara Stern-Frazier.

We are bowled over by the expense, time, and work involved in facilitating independence for someone with a spinal cord injury, and we’re extremely grateful for your support. We could not have done it without everyone’s help.

I had an injury myself in May and haven’t been able to post updates or write thank you notes because I was unable to type. I’m glad to be back in action, and we will post new photos and thank you each individually in the coming days.

-Terésa Stern, Rosa’s mom


Posted on June 26, 2013

Posted on June 26, 2013

Please check out the latest photos of Rosa riding a One-Off, a hand-powered mountain bike, during a recent visit to the Colorado Outward Bound School in Leadville, CO.

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