April 3 marked the third annual Hearts for Rehab Luncheon, celebrating philanthropic support of Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Rehabilitation. The event was presented by Allergan (Platinum Sponsor) and Cerner (Gold Sponsor). During the luncheon at Charlotte Country Club guests heard from honored guest speaker (below, left), Mr. Allen Rucker—an award-winning television writer and New York Times bestselling author. His memoir, The Best Seat in the House: How I Woke Up One Tuesday and Was Paralyzed for Life describes his journey of dealing with sudden paralysis due to a rare neurological disorder called transverse myelitis. He shared words of encouragement for persons living with disabilities, speaking about his own philosophy and drive to live a healthy, productive life in spite of physical limitations. The “friend-raiser” luncheon was hosted by Caroline Vandergriff (below, right), an accomplished reporter for Time Warner Cable News 14. The event had special meaning for the guest emcee, who in January of 2013 was hit by a car while covering a story, suffering extensive injuries. Thankfully, Ms. Vandergriff made a full recovery with the help of Carolinas Rehabilitation.


The Logan Stroud Foundation was recognized for their ongoing support of Carolinas Rehabilitation, contributing over $25,000 in recent years in memory of Logan Stroud to support special needs of Carolinas Rehabilitation patients and their families. Dr. Patrick Connor, uncle to Mr. Rucker and local orthopedic surgeon, served as honorary chairperson.

The Cannon Foundation was presented with the W. Duke Kimbrell Award for Outstanding Support of Carolinas Rehabilitation. They have been a generous donor to Carolinas HealthCare System for many years, recently making a $50,000 gift to Carolinas Rehabilitation in support of the pediatric component of the Lokomat™.

Fourteen-year-old Cindy Shields (below), who receives ongoing physical therapy from Carolinas Rehabilitation, spoke about her personal experience and improvement thanks to the services and resources available at Carolinas Rehabilitation.

“I want to thank my therapists at Carolinas Rehabilitation. Working on the Lokomat™ has greatly improved my walking skills. I am grateful to everyone at Carolinas Rehabilitation and thank all of you for helping me on my journey.”

Cindy’s mother, Kris Shields, also shared, “We are using the Lokomat™ in an unconventional and unexpected way.  It was designed to assist patients with spinal cord injuries; however, we are using it to help my daughter, who is blind.  She has shown great improvement.  And for that, I am grateful.”

The 2014 Hearts for Rehab Luncheon netted more than $21,000 to benefit Carolinas Rehabilitation.  We thank our sponsors, guest speakers, volunteers, and everyone involved in this event for their gracious support of Carolinas Rehabilitation.

Special thanks goes to our sponsors for their support:

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor: