It was 13 year ago that former track and field runner Adam Gorlitsky was robbed of his ability to do something we all take for granted – walk. A severe spinal cord injury following a car crash would completely change his life that day, but on March 24, 2019, he was back in control.
Dr. Clayton Lawrence, President and CEO of Lawrence Executive Alliance of Professionals (LEAP) LLC, was incredibly proud to take to the same course as this inspirational man, who, with the help of a robotic exoskeleton, has proven doctors wrong time and time again. Though he was told he would never walk again, he has accomplished much more – he has participated in several races over the past three years, including Sunday’s LA Marathon.
“This may have been my 111thmarathon, but it had a completely different feel to it,” Dr. Lawrence said. “To share the course with a man who is the epitome of determination was a humbling experience for me. It is amazing not only how far the medical field has come in developing things like robotic exoskeletons, but what is even more impressive is that a man who was told by medical professionals that he would never put one foot in front of the other again is doing just that.”
Gorlitsky has had such an impact on this emergency medicine physician, who, through his business, ensures that quality medical access is available to veterans and civilian patients across the nation, that Lawrence has decided to award a $1,000 grant to I GOT LEGS, a nonprofit organization that is helping others with disabilities. Gorlitsky founded I GOT LEGS in 2016 and set out on a mission to “ReEnable people with physical challenges by providing opportunities, programs, and grants that unlock an improved quality of life.” In addition, the organization’s goal is to “support improvements to life-changing technology for the physically challenged.”
After all, says igotlegs.org, it was the exploration of breakthrough technology – the ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton – that led Gorlitsky to become the first paralyzed man to walk Charleston, South Carolina’s Cooper River Bridge Run on April 2, 2016. When he crossed the finish line of the 6.2 mile-race after nearly seven hours, he officially started the nonprofit.
Now, after tackling 17.2 miles on a course that took participants from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, Dr. Lawrence hopes to help raise even more awareness about I GOT LEGS.
“As a doctor, we want nothing more than for our patients to have every opportunity to approach challenges with a solid plan in mind, but, as a fellow nonprofit founder that is focused around today’s youth, I want others to see this incredible man. Someone who, against incredible odds, has been a tremendous example of a role model and one that we’d like for our students at LEAP Foundation DC to look up to. We want them to see that when they commit themselves to their goals and personal accomplishments, amazing things happen. We hope this funding will allow Adam to meet his mission and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”