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Rikaya Wafford: Making strides using technology

Rikaya Wafford
23-year-old, Rikaya Wafford's life changed forever last summer when she became the victim of a stray bullet lodged into her spine and it paralyzed her from the waist down. "I went out with a bunch of my friends and family in downtown Minneapolis, and on our way back to the car we heard gun shots and everybody was ducking but I was frozen. Like I just couldn't even move."

Despite the frustration of no suspect and the remaining bullet in her spine, Rikaya decided to stay positive, and is grateful that her road to recovery has been filled with support. "Because there were so many people around, I think it was easier to keep a smile on my face. I realize basketball is not going to be the same but you know, practice makes perfect, and I'm getting there, and I can't just stop living."

Rikaya continues to participate in therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. She has been using an electronic exoskeleton, a new robotic walking technology device, wth the goal of relearning how to walk. She is also looking forward to participating in the Courage Kenny Fitness and Wellness Center in addition to the sports and recreation programs. "I want to be as independent as I can be. I am not going to stop!"