It started as a simple idea. Scott Kramer, a physical therapist helping patients in the blood and marrow transplant unit at The University of Kansas Health System, realized those patients have special needs. Many stay for weeks, even months, because of their weakened immune systems and keeping them physically active can be a challenge.
“We’re always trying to find a way to help these patients stay active and get stronger,” said Kramer. But the unit has a limited area for walking and finding space in the frequently full unit was a challenge. So Kramer made it his mission to bring more exercise to those patients.
Thanks to the generosity of the O’Malley Family from Independence, Kansas, Kramer’s dream is a reality. A former medication room has been converted into a small, but efficient gym, big enough to offer four exercise stations…including a high-tech NuStep cross training machine. There’s also a TV, music system and a big window to let staff observe patients while they exercise.
In the video, Scott Kramer, physical therapist, talks about why exercise is so important, especially for blood and marrow transplant patients. He also outlines the different types of equipment and what patients are saying about the new gym.
Also on the video, Larry O’Malley, who attended the dedication ceremony with his family, explains why it was so important for his family to make the donation. He talks about getting a stem cell transplant 13 years ago and spending time as a patient in a similar unit with no exercise facility. He reflects on how cancer changed him and helped him focus on the needs of blood and marrow transplant patients.
The video also shows the dedication ceremony, with Dr. Joseph McGuirk, director of blood and marrow transplant, thanking the family for their generosity, and shows all of the various exercise stations, with Larry O’Malley trying out the cross training machine.