Golf tournament to help local paraplegic continue his recovery
By LOIS KINDLE
It has been almost two-and-a-half years since a car struck the motorcycle Jared Ramella was riding and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Although he was given little hope of ever walking again, the road to his recovery has been faithfully supported by family, friends and the community.
Ramella has undergone highly specialized physical therapy since mid-2015, which has given him the ability to do a limited amount of self care and strengthened his muscles to the point where he can now play sled hockey and golf with the help of a ParaGolfer, a mobile chair that allows him to stand to swing a club.
He and a family member drive to the Center for Recovery & Exercise in Longwood for two-hour therapy sessions twice a week. The facility is one of only three in Florida and 20 in the nation that offers the kind of specific, activity-based therapy needed by patients with neurological conditions and spinal and traumatic brain injuries or the effects of a stroke.
“The exercises keep him fit and ready for when the technology becomes available to make use of it,” said his mother, Suzanne. “They improve his circulation, keep his internal organs healthy, increase his bone density and core strength.”
Matthew Icnogle, a member of Jared’s physical therapy team, agrees.
“He’s been doing great,” he said. “Over the past three months we’ve seen a drastic improvement in Jared’s weight-bearing endurance and overall, upper-body strength. He’s come in with a renewed energy level and desire to work out.”
For Jared’s family, such progress is costly.
“The sessions are about $500 per month and we pay another $500 a month for gas, tolls and medical supplies not covered by Medicaid,” his mother said. “If we didn’t receive a scholarship from the CORE Foundation, it would probably be double.”
That’s why his sister, Amanda Marrero, organizes and hosts the Road to Recovery Golf Tournament, which will be held this year at the Summerfield Crossings Golf Course on April 22. The third annual event will start at noon, with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
The $85 registration fee includes the greens fee, cart, lunch and beer on the course, dinner at the 19th hole party by Tijuana Flats, swag bags and raffle tickets for some significant prizes, including fishing charters with local captains Phil Pegley, Matt Morrison and Matt Santiago; a $300 gift-card tree; two-night stay at Little Harbor; golf packages for foursomes at four different courses; beauty package from Fringe Benefits; Nautica beach set; and more.
The tourney will include a silent auction; hole-in-one contest for a golf cart donated by Jenkins Motorsports; a putting contest sponsored by Fringe Benefits Salon for a Carnival Cruise for two to the Bahamas; and a longest-drive contest sponsored by 20/20, where someone will win his or her choice of two regular season tickets to any professional sporting event, including NASCAR, football, hockey, baseball or golf.
Each golfer will receive a bounce-back card to Summerfield Crossings Golf Course and a personal cooler donated by Circles and Lands End Marina.
Jared understands the importance of the tournament and is grateful to both his family and community.
“I want to thank everyone who’s come out in support every year and those who will be playing this year,” he said. “It means the world to me that people actually care and put their time and money into my recovery.”
To register for the tournament, sign up at golfing3.eventzilla.net or stop by Summerfield Golf Course, 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview, or call either 813-671-3311 or 813-967-5811.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Road to Recovery Golf Tournament
WHERE: Summerfield Crossings Golf Course, 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview
WHEN: April 22, shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
COST: $85, includes the greens fee, cart, lunch and beer on the course, dinner at the 19th hole, swag bags and raffle tickets.
INFORMATION: Call 813-671-3311 or 813-967-5811.