Here are links to just a few of our past recipients’ stories:
Craig & Minnie
Craig sustained a C-5 spinal cord injury as a result of an auto accident just weeks before his 30th birthday. Craig and Minnie were paired together in 2004. A lifelong Anaheim Angels fan, Craig loved to watch the games at home with his own personal rally monkey! “Minnie made my life so much richer and fuller,” said Craig.
Robert & Hellion
In 1975 when Robert Foster was only 18 years old, he got into a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. His life was changed forever. He was unable to complete everyday tasks such as dressing and getting up in the morning on his own. Because he couldn’t afford around-the-clock care, he was only able to eat twice a day. But six years later, in 1981, Robert met Hellion and his life changed once again, this time for the better.
Scott & Melanie
In July 2009, Scott broke his neck in a diving accident at the C3 level and was left completely paralyzed from the neck down with no movement or sensation. “As you can imagine, it has been a very challenging journey back to where I am today,” said Scott. “While I am still unable to move below the neck, my quality of life has greatly improved. One of the major improvements is due in part to the addition of Melanie, my helper monkey.”
Angie & J-Lee
A new beginning, a better way to live with her new limitations – that is what Angie was looking for when she applied for a monkey helper in 2005. Paralyzed by spinal tumors, Angie, a veteran, was looking for ways to become more independent when she discovered Helping Hands. She was matched with her monkey helper, J-Lee, in 2006 and the pair quickly became constant companions. Her service monkey was there to help with the small, day-to-day challenges, and to be a loving friend during times of greater challenge, especially when Angie lost both her legs due to medical complications.
Bradley & Jerri
We’ve all known someone like Bradley. He was a very active boy—he climbed before he walked, and soon after he started walking, he ran. “Even as a toddler, Bradley would say, ‘Let me do it,’” recalled his mom, Tilda. “He was so very independent—never still, and on the go.”
Then, at age 18, Bradley hit his head in a diving accident near his home in Alabama, shattering his C6 vertebra. Just graduated from high school, facing endless possibilities, Bradley’s life came to a crashing halt. He was paralyzed.
Tim & Webster
Tim says his relationship with Webster is special. “Although I am injured, he looks up to me as his protector,” says Tim. “I don’t feel so depressed with him around. It is nice that someone is excited every time I come home. I would do anything for this little guy, just like he would do anything for me.”
Kent & Farah
Kent was an active family man, chef, and handyman—always on the go. On August 2, 2006, an auto accident left him with a spinal cord injury—paralyzed from the chest down. While Kent was away recovering for an entire year (in and out of hospitals and rehab facilities that were more than an hour away from home), his wife Nancy began to educate herself about living with paralysis. That is when she discovered Helping Hands.
Travis & Siggy
“I joined the Navy right out of High School to pursue my dream of becoming a Navy Seal,” Travis recalled. “Unfortunately, I learned I had an undiagnosed injury in my shoulder that made it impossible for me to continue with the advanced training I had set my sights on. I had my accident in New Orleans after being discharged from the Navy. Long story short, I was out with some buddies one night and I made some bad decisions. It could happen to anyone. I fell and broke my neck.”