Matt Ficarra, 29, was paralyzed from the chest down when he broke his neck in a diving accident July 30, 2011 on Oneida Lake in New York. A former college lacrosse player, Matt graduated from State University College at Oswego in 2008. Athletically driven and naturally hard-working, Matt has made tremendous progress since his initial injury. While continuing his career with National Income Life Insurance Co., he has undergone extensive physical and occupational therapy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Matt learned how to transfer in and out of bed on a slide board and trained with weights. Therapists taught him how to bathe, dress and perform other skills that would help him regain his independence. He was at it up to 14 hours a day, five days a week.
Matt came to The Thomas E. Smith Foundation looking to accomplish the goal of purchasing his own FES Bike, an important rehabilitation tool that often times can be a daunting fundraising task. As part of a group of those assisting Matt in his purchase, we are proud to present the final leg of his fundraising effort that allowed him to reach his goal. With our $3,940 grant, Matt will be able to utilize in-home therapy that will allow him to continue having progression in his recovery. To learn more about Matt and his background, please click this link.