Jay is a Semi-Finalist!

Good afternoon.

Congratulations! It?s our pleasure to announce you have advanced to the semi-finalist stage of the Local Heroes program. Your submission received enough votes to make the top 10 percent, so your story is now under review by an independent selection committee.

Once the three finalists are identified, they will be contacted by a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) representative to review the next steps for assuming ownership of a new wheelchair-accessible vehicle. These three Local Heroes will be announced publicly in early June.

Again, thank you for joining us in the celebration of National Mobility Awareness Month. For any further updates, please visit the NMEDA Facebook page.

Best regards,

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association Team

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Walking for Dreams

Join us June 3rd on the canal for Walking for Dreams. You can help out the Pray For Jay team by pledging a donation. Thank you for continuing to support Jay in your hearts and prayers!

(More about Walking for Dreams)

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Vote for Jay

May is National Mobility Awareness month, and NMEDA is giving away a free wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Vote for Jay using the code 967, and please continue to pray for a miracle!

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Firefighters, police hosting fundraiser for Jay!

“An April 13 fundraiser, which includes an auction, raffle and chili dinner, will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86, 1525 Shelby St. Money raised will help cover the family’s out-of-pocket medical expenses.” (Indystar.com) Full article

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Raffle to win an iPad!

Purchase Raffle Tickets to support Jay Ruckelshaus and win one of three IPAD3s!

Tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50!

Drawing to be held Thursday, April 26, 8:50 pm, Smee?s Place Restaurant, 1454 W. 86th Street, Indpls. 46260.

You do not need to be present to win, but you?re welcome to join friends of Mary?s who are gathering at Smee?s that night between 5 and 9 pm.

Checks should be made payable to Legacy Foundation, which has been established to help support Jay and Ruckelshaus family with the catastrophic expenses associated with his recovery.


TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Contact Lannie Thompson, lannie@talktotucker.com,
317-840-3448, or see me at sales meetings.

YOUR SUPPORT MEANS SO MUCH: Mary will not be able to attend our event,
as she is with Jay in Atlanta. Mary and all the Ruckelshaus family are
touched by our efforts and wish to thank everyone for their continued
love, prayers, and support.

Thank you for reading this, and continue to Pray for a Miracle for Jay!

Invitation/Ticket pdf

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What a Week

written by Mary Ruckelshaus
These past ten days have been some of the most emotionally and physically draining since Jays accident, almost eight months ago.We started it by making a much anticipated journey up I 85 to finally meet with the folks at Duke. What an amazing visit it was. Jay, filled with excitement and apprehension, spent a day and a half meeting with representatives from various departments. The one common theme they kept reiterating was their desire to make Jay’s Duke experience whatever he wants it to be. We were continually blown away by the compassion and the passion of each of these individuals. Many times throuout the visit and since, we all have remarked that we truly cannot imagine a better fit for Jay. More than anything, it gave Jay encouragement to continue therapy and piece of mind that no matter what shape his physical body is in, his love of learning will be fostered and challenged in every way imaginable, come August in Durham. So, sending my third child of to school, I realize he will face many of the same issues as other freshmen and have some enormous hurdles to jump over.
However, there is such an army of magnificent people waiting at Duke to make the transition possible. For that, I am thankful and filled with gratitude to a group of individuals vie only known for a very short time.
Unfortunately, as wonderful as our visit was, we ended up in the Duke Emergency Room late Monday night.( so we now also know what capable medical facilities they have, in case, Jay would ever need them again). An excruciating headache and hypertension followed us back to Atlanta and Tuesday night found us back in the ER again, only to be sent home Wed morning. Then, you guessed it, Wed night ER again. The horrific part of a spinal cord injury is that many times, we are having to educate the medical community about signs of dysreflexia and levels of injury, lack of pain responses and ways to transfer from a wheelchair to a stretcher. Finally, after three very long days, Jay was admitted to a hospital next to the Shepherd Center.The past six days have been filled with ct scans, blood cultures, x rays, spinal tap and any other test they can find. Many days and especially nights, Jay was teaching the staff about symptoms of spinal cord injured patients and the proper way of caring for him- not what you want to be doing when your blood pressure is off the charts and your scared out of your mind! This has all taken a terrible toll on both of us. Up until now, other than the initial injury and a few minor health issues, Jay has been remarkable healthy and continually gaining strength, both physically and emotionally. To say we are worried and weary , would be an understatement. This is a cruel cruel world we are living in right now, and in the dark of the night, it is hard to not question why.Late today, after much help from so many people at Shepherd, he was admitted to the ICU there. Never were we both so happy to be back in a hospital. Once there, he was met by some of his favorite therapists, doctors and nurses. They are continuing to test and monitor Jay, ruling out different things at each step. One of the difficult things about a spinal cord injury is a person cannot feel or describe pain below the level of injury, in Jay’s case, just below his shoulders. However, the body knows something is wrong and therefore, the blood pressure rises and various other things alarm the brain. The scariest part of this, as Jay has repeatedly told the Doctors, ” I have one part of my body that works, my mind. We need to protect it! “

So tonight, after a whirlwind week , he is resting comfortably in the ICU, preparing for more tests tomorrow. As for therapy, he obviously is concerned about losing ground but must find the cause of the headaches before he can fully participate in the NRN regime. This week has given us much time to reflect on the past eight months and how incredibly different our family’s lives have become. As I write this tonight, we continue to be overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and strangers. It is a life I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but it’s all we have. As springtime has arrived in Atlanta, I find myself hoping for new signs of strength and recovery, and most importantly, endurance to keep fighting the fight. I tell Jay each night, “tomorrow will be a better day and we will never, never , never give up “!

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Jay Visits Duke

written by Patty Torr
Just a quick note – I’m hoping that, perhaps this weekend, Jay will be able to add his own thoughts about Duke, but I wanted to share a couple of photos with everyone (with Mary’s blessing) ;-). ?The folks at Duke are EXTREMELY excited to have Jay Ruckelshaus as a part of the Class of 2016. (they are LUCKY to have Jay!) ?Mary’s parents, who live about 2 hours away, were able to join us on Tuesday for lunch, so I thought I’d send a photo of them with Jay in front of the extremely beautiful Duke Chapel. ?Enjoy the pictures!

As always, please continue to pray for a miracle.
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Prayer Request

written by Patty Torr
Hello – the following was sent to my by Jay’s Uncle Keith.? Keith’s sister is going to Lourdes on Jay’s behalf.? Please read below:

We all know that Jay Ruckelshaus had an unfortunate accident on 7/16/2011. At this time he is quite busy getting better and doesn’t have too much time available for discretionary travel.??

So in his sted, I plan on making a short trip to Lourdes, France where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times. Following instructions from Our Lady, Bernadette dug a hole from which sprung the healing springs of Lourdes. Since that time many millions of people have made pilgrimages to Lourdes seeking healing. Many Miracles have occurred here.

On 2/24/2012 at 8:30am eastern time I plan on going into the Spring (Available to all) with the attached picture of Jay in hand. I would like to ask that you join me that day in either going to Mass, saying a Rosary, or the Memorae or whatever seems appropriate to you to Storm Heaven for Jay’s Miracle!


As always, please continue to pray for a miracle.

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Man’s Best Friend!

written by Patty Torr
I received this post tonight from John Ruckelshaus:”For centuries dogs have been considered man’s best friend. There are rescue dogs. There are dogs who aid firefighters, there are dogs who rescue trapped humans buried in rubble. And then there is a dog named Teddy.Recently, the physical therapists discovered a “flicker” in Jay’s triceps. This is very exciting on multiple levels, most importantly, giving Jay new momentum in his therapy. Still, he has a long way to go in this marathon, but this is progress to be sure.

Today, two of Mary’s dear friends, Diane Smith and Sallie Jo Mitzell, took Jay’s best friend Teddy to Atlanta to be at Jay’s side as he continues his rehab. These are the long days in rehab for Jay. Marathon runners would say this is where you hit the wall; baseball players would say these are the dog days of summer.

Funny, with all that medical science has done for Jay thus far, today was the best prescription of all: his dog Teddy.”

As always, please continue to pray for a miracle.
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Where in the world is Jay?

written by Patty Torr

Good afternoon!??Well, the last time you heard from me and the Ruckelshaus family, we told you Jay was coming home for an uncertain amount of time, making a ?pit stop? en route to his next round of therapy, wherever that might be.?WELLLLL?.there is some very good news to report!
Below is a note from John Ruckelshaus that I?d like to share.

?Around Thanksgiving, Jay began to mention that his body was telling him something.? From the outset of Jay?s injury, his condition has been termed ?ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) A, Complete?.? That condition means that he has no sensation or movement below the level of his injury.? On December 22, the day we had set to return to Indianapolis for Christmas, Jay delivered us the best Christmas gift anyone could ever want: his condition was elevated to ASIA B, Sensory Incomplete, as he is now experiencing sensation in his feet and mid section.? This is a huge event, as now he is experiencing recovery below the level of injury.? This is a very, very long road with no guarantees, but we now have new hope.

This past Saturday, I drove Mary and Jay back to Atlanta and the Shepherd Center to begin another new round of more intense therapy.? We will go month by month pending his progress to his treatments.? After we conclude our therapy in Atlanta, we will go to another facility.? To further underscore the progress he is making, Jay is proctoring via Skype, a 400 level conversational French course at Indiana University.? Indeed, Jay will still enroll at Duke this fall,?but his mother and I, both IU graduates, relish in reminding Jay that IU is currently ranked higher in the polls in basketball than Duke.

?Our family sincerely wishes to thank everyone who has kept our family in their prayers and thoughts.? To be sure, this has not been easy, but we know this is going to have an incredible resolution.?

I would tell you the Ruckelshaus family received 3 gifts this Christmas:??Jay?s upgraded condition, Maggie?s graduation from Butler (and gainful employment as an intern with the IN House of Representatives!), and Drew?s visit home from the University of Idaho where he is attending grad school.

As always, please continue to pray for a miracle.

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Jaybird Flies Home!!!

written by Patty Torr
I woke up this morning thinking about Jay.? This day is going to be an absolute whirlwind for him.? I suspect right about now, he is eating breakfast and getting ready to go to the gym where he has to be at 8 a.m.? From there he will have a series of meetings and appointments as he gets ready to depart from The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, his home for the past 4-1/2 months.? Know that this is not the end of the therapy for Jay; this is just a “pit stop” at home to ready him for the next round of therapy.? At this time, the Ruckelshaus’ are not certain where Jay will go from here.? Stay tuned:? we will let you know!
I received the following note from John who asked me to post this from him.”On August 15, 2011 Jay(Bird) arrived at the Shepherd Center to begin his rehabilitation from his injury.? On December 22, he will fly home to enjoy the Christmas Holiday before he embarks on his next phase of recovery, where we do not know at this point.It has been a long and emotional 4 months since we left Indianapolis to Atlanta.? When we left, Jay was not breathing on his own and had very limited mobility.? The weeks of therapy have set the foundation for his recovery. ??Jay has made good progress, breathing on his own and so forth. ?Spinal cord injury rehabilitation is a very slow and arduous task that draws upon the inner strength that you did not know you had before.? Rehabilitation takes the whole family to nurture along.? In Jay?s case, there is an entire community and beyond that has pulled together to help him every step of the way.? Our family has felt your prayers, your support and kindness at every stop.? Simply put:? we would not be where we are today without the love and support of everyone.? Jay would state that it is clout that brings us together, but then Jay would say that and make us all scramble for the dictionary.? (PATTY’S NOTE:? Yep – I looked in the dictionary!)When Jay returns, we ask that you please indulge us as we gradually ease back into life.? This transition from Shepherd to Indy will be challenging, as we navigate familiar but now very different territory.? We are very happy to have our new Butler University graduate, Maggie, and graduate student, Drew, home for Christmas direct from ?the University of Idaho, who will only be home for a couple of days.? Of course, our beloved dog Teddy will be overjoyed ?to share his rather moist kisses with Jay.? Jay cannot wait!

This Holiday Season, as we all hustle about attending to the last minute details of the season, our family is reminded of the scene in the Charles Schultz Christmas Special whereby Linus tells a rather befouled Lucy and Charlie what Christmas is all about.? Linus moves to center stage as the house lights dim to a lone spotlight on him as he recites the true meaning of Christmas.? This year in the Ruckelshaus house, we will truly celebrate the birth of Christ.? As the meaning of Christ?s birth brings hope and renewal, so too will Jay.

Merry Christmas to all as we count our blessings, and there are many, and among some of the best are all of you.”
I will close with a line from one of my favorite Christmas movies ever;? “If you’re tired and cannot sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep.? And you’ll go to sleep counting your blessings.”

Merry Christmas to all of you.

As always, please continue to pray for a miracle.

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Hello Everyone

written by Jay Ruckelshaus

Hello Everyone, In the true spirit of this past Thanksgiving Holiday, I would like to thank everyone who has given their time, talent and treasure as well as all your hard work towards my recovery. To say we are humbled by the down pouring of support and compassion is an understatement/litotes.? In Arabic there’s a word that roughly translates into the English term, “clout”.? One of the most frustrating things about translation is its inability to capture the true meaning of language spoken in different tongues. Just as the electric signals fail to reach my feet, two people of different cultures often remain irreparably separate, and translation is at fault.? So back to the Arabic term,it refers more to the constellation of friends and support upon which one can rely.??It is the ultimate comforter in times of both happiness and trial, complete and secure.

I hope you all see where I’m going with this analogy.? I sense all of your good thoughts and prayers as an almost physical comforter.? You all are my “clout”.

I want to thank everyone who came out to support me at the Usual Suspects a week ago, particularly the Browning Family and the rest of the Cathedral Crew.? An unfortunate reality of spinal cord injuries is the hurdle posed by expensive equipment and therapy.? While money was never paramount for me, pre injury, I recognize its importance in my recovery.? Therefore, your generosity is so appreciated.? Know that I’m trying my best to take full advantage of all the opportunities presented to me,at Shepherd and beyond.? I have further news of monumental importance, I finally cut my hair.? You’re Welcome! Til next time- thanks for the clout.


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