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Breast Cancer Resources

February 18, 2020

By Nicky Miller

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Adding to the range of research, Kessler Foundation is actively researching a breast cancer study to find treatment, and rehabilitation techniques to help individuals with breast cancer.

Didier Allexandre, PhD, research scientist at the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, is the principal investigator of the study “Effect of Exercise Training on Breast Cancer-related Weakness.”

The study aims to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, by testing interventions that reduce cancer-related symptoms of weakness and fatigue.

Check this website for updates

Natalie and Bryan

Give Natalie the Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift

February 13, 2020


Happy Valentine's Day! Today, I share how, with your support of Kessler Foundation, you help couples like Natalie and Bryan overcome disabling injury and jumpstart their future.

Four years ago, Natalie was driving to Newark Airport with her dog, Dutchess, when her car was struck from behind. She was paralyzed from the waist down. Dutchess, her loving companion, was put in foster care. 

Determined to get her life back, Natalie began participating in spinal cord injury research led by Gail Forrest, PhD, director of the


Transitioning Youth with Disabilities to the Workplace: An Innovative Approach to Independent Living

February 13, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

The political activism of the 1960s fueled grassroots movements for societal change, including the Independent Living Movement, aimed at the inclusion of people with disabilities in American life. This movement influenced important legislation, such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and contributed to the formation of the first Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California. Today, more than 400 nonprofit consumer-directed Centers for Independent Living (CILs) provide consumer-driven community-based programs and services centered on information and referral, peer support, advocacy, and independent living skills. To ensure that the interests of their

Photo collage of Kessler scientists at INS 2020

Kessler Scientists at INS 2020

February 7, 2020

By Nicky Miller

A group of scientists from the Centers for Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, is attending the International Neuropsychological Society 2020 in Denver, Colorado, February 5-8. This year’s theme is neuropsychology in the era of precision medicine.

The event brings together scietists from around the world to promote the international and interdisciplinary study of brain-behavioral relationships, with an emphasis on science and education.

Photo of Nicky Miller and Mindy Scheier posing together

Fashion for All: Adaptive Clothing for People with Disabilities

February 5, 2020


By Nicky Miller 

Often, when we think of people with disabilities, the word fashion, is far from our minds.

Recently, I was fortunate to meet the amazing Mindy Scheier, a fellow fashionista, entrepreneur, and designer. She has designed and styled for many big fashion houses in the industry, from Saks Fifth Avenue to INC and Bloomingdale's.

She’s the founder and CEO of Runway of Dreams. Scheier works with mainstream brands on adaptive modifications to their existing clothing lines for people with disabilities. For some people with disabilities, buttons and zippers are hard to adjust, while wheelchair users struggle with clothes getting stuck in the wheels.


Cancer ribbon

World Cancer Day

February 3, 2020

February 4 is World Cancer Day.

In the U.S., 3.1 million women have a history of breast cancer.

Many report experiencing weakness and fatigue long after their treatment has ended, diminishing quality of life and interfering with daily activities.

“Exercise is demonstrated to have tremendous benefits for cancer survivors, including improved fitness, strength, self-esteem, and quality of life,” says Dr. Michael Stubblefield, director of Cancer Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. However, many have difficulty participating in a traditional exercise program because of weakness and fatigue.

Researchers at Kessler Foundation, led by Guang Yue, PhD, director of

Photo of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Academic Internships Expand Career Options for College Students with Disabilities: The Washington Center Experience

January 30, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

Transitioning to the workplace is challenging for college students, especially those with disabilities. Internships that provide opportunities for networking and exploring career options, as well as work experience and academic credit, are important options for students with disabilities. To connect students with a range of experiences in government and the nonprofit and private sectors, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) offers summer and semester internships.

Founded in 1975, TWC has helped more than 60,000 young people, including students with disabilities, start on the

Three speakers standing in front of podium

Demanding Equal Care for Muslim Patients

January 8, 2020

By Nicky Miller and N. Erkut Kucukboyaci 

By combining clinical observations with findings from extant literature on health disparities, Kessler Foundation researchers turned the spotlight on below average health outcomes of Muslim Americans in the healthcare system.

(Photo above L-R Erkut Kucukboyaci, Roohsey Hasnain, Joman Natsheh)

“This is an underrepresented group that finds it difficult to negotiate the complex healthcare system and it is important to give them a voice,” says N. Erkut Kucukboyaci, PhD, an associate research scientist in the Center for Traumatic Brain

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Reducing Diagnostic Uncertainty What the Evidence-Based Researcher Can Do for Clinical Practitioners

January 7, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation’s podcast, Gordon Chelune, PhD, presents “Reducing Diagnostic Uncertainty What the Evidence-Based Researcher Can Do for Clinical Practitioners.” Dr. Chelune presented this topic at last year’s 2019 Kessler Foundation Baird Visiting Educational Professional Lecture.

Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on Apple PodcastsSoundCloud

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Sleep Apnea and Stroke

January 3, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation’s podcast, Brian Benoff, MD, FCCP, FAASM, of Holy Name Medical Center, presents “Sleep Apnea and Stroke.”


This is part eight, and the final podcast from the series.

Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on 

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Impact of Spatial Neglect

December 19, 2019

In this episode of Kessler Foundation’s podcast, Peii Chen, PhD, senior research scientist at the Center for Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation, presents “Impact of Spatial Neglect.”

This is part seven of an eight part series. Listen to the series as it's posted. 

Listen to the podcast, 

Michele Pignatello, Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Happy New Year!

December 19, 2019

Happy New Year and thank you for changing lives with your generosity. 

Your generosity gives the gift of first steps, improved memory, and independence for people with disabilities.

Learn more about your impact.

On behalf of all of us at Kessler Foundation, best wishes for a happy and healthy new year filled with all things good.


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3 Things to Do Now to Give Less to the IRS Next Year

December 18, 2019

So, you’ve filed your 2020 taxes. Did you know that you can take action now to give less to the IRS and more to change the lives of people with disabilities?

Even better: when your charitable giving is part of your overall financial plan, you can give more, and have a greater impact, without actually giving more.

So, what are the three things to do now to give less to the IRS next year?

1. Donate highly appreciated, publicly traded assets, such as stock, bonds, or mutual funds that you have held for a year or longer. You will avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation and can claim the full value of the assets as a charitable contribution.

2. If you are 70½ or older and must take a required

Isabella Sementilli

One Tough Cookie—and Generous Donor, Too

December 18, 2019

In October 2013, as 5th grader Isabella Sementilli went to sit down, a classmate pulled out the chair from under her. In that moment, her life was changed forever. Isabella sustained a brain injury, a fractured tailbone, and back and neck injuries. She lives with the effects of her brain injury to this day.

Isabella can longer do the things she once loved, like tap dance or play tennis. But in overcoming her obstacles, Isabella has found new passions—baking and fighting for anti-bullying and brain injury awareness. The cookies she bakes, which she has named Iznettes, are sold at her dad’s restaurant, and she donates the proceeds to support causes she cares about, including Kessler Foundation. Isabella also wrote, illustrated, and self-published a picture book