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Sharp Health News

Celebrating the power of rehabilitation

May 22, 2017

Celebrating the power of rehabilitation

(Left to right) 2017 Victories of Spirit award winners Lance Magin, Dave Thomas and Kalim Smith.

Sharp Rehabilitation and the Sharp HealthCare Foundation's 2017 "Victories of Spirit" awards celebrates the power of rehabilitation and the strength of the human spirit. Three individuals and one local organization received the Eagle Spirit Award, an award that symbolizes the Navajo sign of the most potent healing power, at the annual event held each May.

"The Victories of Spirit event celebrates the power of rehabilitation and strength of the human spirit, honoring former rehabilitation patients who have overcome personal tragedy with courage and strength," says David Brown, system director of Rehabilitation Services for Sharp HealthCare. "We appreciate and honor their achievements and commitment of giving back to the community."

2017 Victories of Spirit Eagle Spirit Award Winners

Lance Magin
Lance sustained a spinal cord injury in a 1974 motorcycle racing accident that left him paralyzed. He returned to racing and became the first paraplegic to compete in the Baja 1000. Lance's relationship with Sharp Rehabilitation began in 1984 and continues today. As an advocate for the disabled community, Lance co-founded the Motorsports Program for the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp in San Diego for disabled children.

Kalim Smith
Kalim is an expert in languages and cultures, as well as a renowned creator of traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments (ipu heke). His enthusiasm for life continued after a devastating spinal cord injury in 2011. Today, Kalim helps others by serving as an advocate for accessible housing, parking and improved beach access in the Carlsbad community.

Dave Thomas
In 2015, Dave suffered a stroke and wasn't expected to live. But Dave's family and the support of his community helped him defy the odds. With outpatient therapy in the pool at Sharp Grossmont Rehabilitation, he works hard to overcome his physical challenges. Today, Dave volunteers at El Capitan High School coaching water polo. His competitive spirit, sense of humor and positive attitude inspire everyone he meets.

Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS)
DSPS was established to accommodate the academic and support needs of students with disabilities. The organization offers a variety of specialized classes and services, including assistive technology, designed to help students with disabilities achieve their educational, personal and vocational goals.

Advancing the Future of Rehabilitation

This annual celebration is sponsored by Sharp HealthCare Foundation and title sponsor United HealthCare. The event benefits Sharp Rehabilitation Services and its programs, including:

  • Adaptive Sports Programs, including adapted water sports, wheelchair tennis, quad rugby and wheelchair lacrosse.
  • Challenged Women's Support Initiative, which provides volunteer and employment opportunities, education and peer support services to women living with physical disabilities in San Diego.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Support Programs, which include services such as adapted driving assessment and training, community integration, peer support and mentoring programs, and neuropsychological services.
  • General Rehabilitation Fund, which allows Sharp Rehabilitation Services to fund programs and services as needs arise throughout the year.

Past recipients of the Eagle Spirit Award include Dani Burt, a champion adaptive surfer and physical therapist at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

For the news media: To talk with a Sharp expert about the Victories of Spirit awards or Sharp Rehabilitation Services for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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