Scott Fedor was leading the perfectly scripted life.
He accomplished a number of personal goals like skydiving, bull riding, and visiting the Great Wall of China. His career path led him to a role as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for a Berkshire Hathaway company. In July 2009, a diving accident left him with a broken neck and complete spinal cord injury. The same will and determination to succeed helped to aid in his post-injury recovery process. Ultimately, Scott’s resilience has allowed him to move forward and make monumental changes that continue to affect both his life and the lives of those around him.
Scott’s journey back from a catastrophic event is truly inspirational—and you are the reason Scott is flourishing today.
You can read about Scott, his service monkey, Melanie, and his personal mission below:
Thanks to you, Scott and Melanie have been together for six years. She continues to be a great spark in his day. She is extremely clever and, like Scott, always actively engaged.
I’ll put peanut butter in the bottom of my bottle and give her some chopsticks.
She’ll grab my hand and shove the chopsticks into my hand and she’ll then hold my hand and make me fish for the peanut butter for her.
Three months into Scott’s recovery, his health insurance stopped covering his physical therapy due to a perceived lack of progress in the recovery process. His weekly progress may have seemed incremental to anyone else, but it was monumental to Scott. His physical therapy sessions were critical to reducing the risk of pneumonia and bed sores, and the sessions also helped to maintain bone density and lift his spirits. His friends and family rallied to raise money so Scott could continue sessions with his own private therapist
Scott explains, “I just felt like I was doing something. The kind of feeling that I got from physical therapy each day is what kept me going, what kept my drive, and what kept me motivated.”
It was not until Scott’s physical therapy ended and he had to depend on raising his own funds that he realized he had to advocate for himself.
Loss of funding for physical therapy inspired Scott to found his own nonprofit, Getting Back Up, in 2011—just a little more than two years post-injury.
Getting Back Up’s mission is to raise funds to assist individuals from all over the country with exercise-based therapy or progressive-type therapiesthat are not covered by insurance. Scott’s new job was a far cry from conducting sales visits or negotiations during marketing meetings.
According to Scott, service work is incredibly uplifting:
I get a lot of benefit out of just being able to help others. It does make me feel great. It gives me the boost I need as well.
There are good days and bad days. Just because you are out there helping others does not mean that you don't need to help yourself. Seeing the reactions, the smiles, and hearing the stories about the people that you are able to help ends up helping you.
Scott already had a strong foundation for success. “I had the mindset, the attitude, and the upbringing to want to push on,” he explains, “Getting Back Up has made my life so much more fulfilling, happy, and productive than had I sat around wasting away or contemplating the negative.”
Your commitment to recipients like Scott and Melanie give us the motivation—and dedication—to continue the work we do to place service monkeys at no cost to our recipients.
To make more stories like Scott’s possible, consider making a donation today.