It started on June 17, 2008. Christine woke up feeling funny. Her arms and legs felt heavy, and she was having trouble moving. In hopes of shaking it off, she grabbed her dogs for a run.
Still not feeling great a few hours later, she took a nap. When she got up, she fell out of bed because her legs wouldn’t work. Her husband took her to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis– an inflammation of the spinal cord.
"I went from walking one day to not even being able to stand the next," says Christine. "It was a Wednesday, and I had a dog show on the weekend. I wasn’t really scared, I just kind of said, "Okay, fix me and let me get out of here by Friday." Four weeks later I came home in a wheelchair."
Doing some research, she found an interesting rehab program using electrical stimulation bikes at Johns Hopkins Hospital. When she called, Hopkins told her about a similar program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan's (RIM) Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery.
"The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is absolutely wonderful," says Christine. "All the therapists and staff really take ownership of each case. They do a lot of brainstorming; they’re always pushing, encouraging, and they’ll never let you give up hope."
"I’m an agility dog trainer. Who would have ever thought the conditioning I do with them would help me out?"
Today, Christine is walking again. Therapists credit her recovery to her great physical condition, and Christine says her goal now is running so she can get back in the ring with her dogs