Ability Fitness Center announces its opening at The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus

Ability Fitness Center announces its opening at The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus

Leesburg, VA – November 13, 2017 – Ability Fitness Center, a therapeutic fitness and wellness center for people with neurological and developmental disabilities, is pleased to announce it is open for business  at The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus in Leesburg. A groundbreaking celebration to start the renovations for the Center’s new home will take place on Monday, November 20th at 10:00am.

The dream of opening the Ability Fitness Center for people with neurological disabilities, particularly spinal cord injuries started five years ago, with the nonprofit Ability Fitness Center, Inc. (AFC). “When I had my accident 6.5 years ago, I was lucky enough to attend some of the better rehab centers,” says Freddie Hetzel, a founding board member of AFC. He continues, “I learned very quickly that for me to receive any exercise, I would either need to hire a physical therapist to work in my home or travel over an hour each way to a rehab center. As wealthy as our area is, there are not any options for this population to exercise, depriving us of the mental and physical benefits from working out with others.  I am eternally grateful to our friends and family for the support they have provided to enable us to solve this problem as we begin our journey of creating a community of hope, healing and health at The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus.”

“We, The Arc of Loudoun, are thrilled to partner with AFC, to fill a need in the community with fitness and wellness to a new population that The Arc has not worked with in the past,” says Melissa Heifetz, Executive Director of The Arc of Loudoun. She continues, “We are also excited that the students with autism and other developmental disabilities from The Aurora School are receiving one-on-one fitness instruction in daily sessions in the new Center.”

Ability Fitness Center is The Arc of Loudoun’s newest program focusing on activity-based interventions that increase functional ability for individuals with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, balance disorders, developmental disabilities, and other neurological conditions. Clients of Ability Fitness Center pay a monthly membership fee and receive access to the Center’s specialized equipment, as well as one-on-one sessions with the Center’s neuro physical therapist. Need-based scholarships are available.

“When someone has a spinal cord injury, stroke, or other neurological diagnosis, insurance coverage is typically insufficient for their needs.  After discharge from outpatient therapy, people want to continue to work towards maximizing their function yet this is often difficult to do on their own and many cannot exercise in a standard gym. At Ability Fitness Center we have specialized equipment, expert therapists, knowledge of their diagnoses, and most importantly we are able to offer support both physically and emotionally. We are creating a space where clients can work out together and support each other through their journeys of accomplishments and challenges,” says Helen Parker PT, DPT, NCS, Clinical Director of Ability Fitness Center and a neurological physical therapist.

Currently Ability Fitness Center has 10 clients from the community and is serving 16 children from The Aurora School on campus. “The goal is to continue to grow to reach more people in our community that can benefit from our center.  We also want to grow by adding support groups and group classes along with the individual exercise times,” says Parker. 

The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus is a non-profit organization that advocates for, and provides direct service to, adults and children with disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers, through its many programs: The Aurora School, Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center, Aurora Behavior Clinic and Ability Fitness Center. The Arc of Loudoun is celebrating 50 years serving people with disabilities in Loudoun since 1967. 

For more information on Ability Fitness Center visit www.paxtoncampus.org/ability-fitness-center or contact Rachel Roseberry, Director of Communications for The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus, at rroseberry@paxtoncampus.org or by phone at 703.777.1939 ext. 106.

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