By Dianne L. Anderson
July 17th marked the 5th anniversary of Casey’s death. We continue to honor her life and memory especially on the annual anniversary, through a day of service surrounded by family and friends. Those unable to attend the Philadelphia area event remember Casey in their own special way on Casey’s “angelversary”.
The Casey Feldman Foundation was established to “give back”, so that Casey’s life would continue to make a difference in the lives of others. The 5th anniversary was no different, helping the patients at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia – individuals recovering from life altering trauma as a result of brain and spinal injuries or stroke. Volunteers did weeding and gardening, parking lot and grounds cleanup, moving of file boxes up the steps in assembly line fashion from the basement, among other chores.
Since Casey was an animal lover, each year of service has incorporated this one of her many passions. The Casey Feldman Foundation established Magee’s first facility dog who works along side patients in their occupational therapy. To be distinguished from a service or therapy dog, this highly trained 4-legged “therapist” knows over 70 different commands, and assists patients with balance, movements such as bending and grasping a ball to play fetch, and motivates them to do more during their physical therapy.
A special lunch time ceremony took place and volunteers were able to watch Joey at work with a patient and see a power point presentation by his handler, occupational therapist Christina Yulo Rinehimer, which featured Joey working with many different patients on a variety of skills.
Friends and family also heard from Casey’s parents and watched the moving “Remembering Casey” video produced by Casey’s father within the first few months of her death. It features Casey’s friends and family talking about Casey and how they have changed as a result of this life altering tragedy.
We continue to be blessed and humbled by the kindness, love and generosity of so many wonderful people who support The Casey Feldman Foundation in multiple ways. We are also particularly grateful to those who volunteer their time to join us annually on the anniversary of Casey’s death. It makes the day a bit easier surrounded by family and friends who join us to honor Casey in such a special way.
I, Casey’s mother, as well as Casey’s father, Joel Feldman and her brother, Brett Feldman, are extremely grateful and thank all of you, without whose support we could not have have accomplished all that we have done in Casey’s memory these last 5 years.
Because of Casey: Remembering & Celebrating One Woman’s Life & Legacy, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, July, 2014
Click here and scroll down to view the articles with links to press coverage, photos and videos, for all of the annual days of service.