ROCKVILLE, Md. — Tamara Gallman is passionate about making a difference in our community for those with physical disabilities.
She and her husband experienced a natural gas explosion in 2011 while sleeping at her home in Rockville, Maryland, and suffered a spinal cord injury, resulting in a physical disability.
“It was just really eye-opening to me, all of a sudden, my whole world changed,” she remembered. “The things that we all take for granted — like being able to do the activities of daily living with ease — [adjusting to that] was very difficult for me.”
In 2016, she founded Disability Partnerships, a nonprofit with a mission to improve the quality of life for people with physical disabilities.
This week, she hosted her first free, six-week Adaptive Health and Wellness program that will help those with limited to no mobility learn how to exercise successfully. Trained professionals will help guide participants every step of the way.
“I think that we all hear all of the time, 'You need to exercise, you need to eat better, you need to sleep.' One thing with exercises is that it's not something that you can do on your own if you don't know what to do.” Senior Physical Therapy Assistant Jessica Burns said.
By the end of the six weeks, those who participated will hopefully have the knowledge and confidence to keep going solo.
“A person should start to know on their own if they're doing too much or too little, to educate on the importance of different types of movements and avoiding different movements primarily for shoulder concerns and back concerns.”
The classes will also be an opportunity for those with physical disabilities and other limited mobility, senior community members to work with others who can relate and improve mental health.
“This is one opportunity, we believe, to continue to build that community of support among persons with disabilities,” Gallman said.
The Disability Partnerships Adaptive Health and Wellness Program will happen twice a week for the next six weeks starting at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.