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The Joseph Groh Foundation | Grant Recipient | Tracy Gale

Nov 27, 2023


Tracy in the 1996 Van Foundation Helped Her Obtain in 2010

Tracy's story begins in 2010 when she became the inaugural grant recipient of the Joseph Groh Foundation. Following an auto accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down, the foundation's support helped her obtain a 1996 used full-size van equipped for wheelchair accessibility.

Since then, Tracy and her husband have sustained their plumbing contracting business in Bryan, Texas, even amidst ongoing challenges. In addition to expanding her family with another child, now nine years old, Tracy has undergone three spinal surgeries. Two of these surgeries aimed to remove cysts from her spinal cord, which were impeding the function of her arms and hands. The most recent surgery, conducted in November 2021, addressed a growth on her brain stem that caused severe cognitive and memory issues.

In 2016, Tracy purchased a used Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) bicycle in an attempt to regain feeling and functionality in her lower body. Despite encountering setbacks with the older equipment, she persisted in using it, covering about 15 miles a day multiple times a week. While she experienced some improvement, recovering some feeling and the firing of muscles in her legs, the aging equipment eventually succumbed to wear and tear, leading to cable and electrode failures.

Facing this challenge, Tracy reached out to The Joseph Groh Foundation once more for assistance. This foundation, dedicated to aiding individuals in the contracting industry affected by life-altering disabilities, responded generously. Thanks to the foundation's supporters, Tracy's request was met, enabling the reconditioning of the bicycle and personalization of the software.

Tracy is now able to continue her rehabilitation journey and not lose what she had worked so hard to gain. Now equipped with her fully repaired FES bicycle, Tracy aims to regain additional feeling or function, enhance her aerobic functionality, and manage her weight. Weight management is particularly challenging for paralyzed individuals, impacting daily activities and increasing morbidity. Tracy expressed her gratitude upon learning of her approved application, stating, "That is so wonderful. I’m really excited to start using my bike again and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish moving forward with it. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to find out!"


Tracy and her family, circa 2012

Daikin is a proud supporter of The Joseph Groh Foundation. Tracy's story is made possible through the generous donations of the Foundation's sponsors. Light your beacon for others and become a Joseph Groh Foundation Luminary today.