Mary Green of Rehoboth Beach, owner of GOLD by Green jewelry, is partnering with the newly established Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation to raise money and awareness of the stamina it takes for a person with a spinal cord injury to overcome adversity and reach their goals. The fund is focused on building pathways for these individuals to achieve their aspirations for recovery and independence.
Former Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier incurred a serious spinal cord injury during a Monday Night Football game in December 2017. He knows he can walk today, in large part, because he has a robust support system and has received the most progressive rehabilitation services in the area. He knows firsthand that more individuals could lead productive lives with proper help and support. Unfortunately, not all individuals with the potential to be independent get access to the essential and extensive rehabilitation treatment they need to be successful. That spurred him in 2019 to create the Ryan Shazier Fund to raise financial support to close this gap.
Green has dealt with back issues since she was 16. “While I never suffered a spinal cord injury, I can relate to the ongoing work and discipline individuals must devote to heal and strengthen their body,” says Green, who was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia three years ago. In 2019, stemming from her previous back issues, Green developed severe pain in her shin from a nerve issue in her lower back. She had already been following Shazier’s comeback. “I thought of Ryan’s journey every day. I thought to myself, if he can come back from that, I will be OK,” Green said. “#shalieve became my mantra. Ryan’s journey is an inspiration for people who have suffered an injury or are faced with any type of hardship. His perseverance is a testament to overcoming adversity and never questioning the journey. I truly admire that.”
Green’s journey led her to create a bracelet inscribed “#shalieve” to remind her that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. She sells these though her website and a donation will be made to Shazier’s newly established charity every time one is sold. The initial goal is to sell 100 bracelets to provide important and timely support to individuals with spinal cord injuries and their support networks. Green’s hope is to create an ongoing stream of support for the fund by continuing the production and sales of the bracelet well beyond the first 100.
Shazier is so appreciative of Green’s support: “Everyone wants their life and goals to go smoothly. But there are always obstacles that are going to present themselves. We just need to keep pushing; the result tends to be even better than we ever expected. We want individuals with spinal cord injuries caused by sports-related injuries and vehicular accidents to receive the financial assistance and navigation support they need.”
Therefore, the fund will:
• Enable more SCI individuals with the potential to receive the same rehabilitation benefits, regardless of their type of insurance or bank account.
• Provide the individual and his/her caretakers streamlined access and resources that will support their rehabilitation such as respite care, a piece of equipment, emergency transportation, and counseling.
• Motivate and connect individuals and their families by offering support sessions, celebrations, and group events.
“Partnering with GOLD by Green is a perfect way for the fund to activate its first group of supporters. More importantly, I hope the bracelets encourage individuals to pursue their dreams,” he said.
On Sept. 9, Shazier officially announced his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers so he can focus on the fund and pursue other business opportunities. To learn more about the bracelet, visit www.goldbygreen.com/products/shalieve-cuff-bracelet-in-sterling-silver.