Bio

My name is Keith Gurgui and I was recently hired by the Resource Center for Accessible  Living (RCAL) as the System’s Advocate. This position involves developing a network of community members who will advocate for the needs of the disability community. I am a graduate of Kingston High School, (2009), and I took part in the Ulster BOCES New Visions Health Career Exploration program. Growing up and being raised by two parents who are Registered Nurses fostered a great interest in the healthcare field and led me to pursue a degree in Physician’s Assistant Studies at Philadelphia University set to start in August of 2009. I was also an avid member of the Zena Sun-Devils swim team and a part-time lifeguard. I participated in Kingston High School’s varsity crew team throughout my four years there, and had the honor of being a captain for my last two years at KHS.

On August 10, 2009, two weeks before college was set to start, I sustained a spinal cord injury at Bethany Beach Delaware while diving into the water, rendering me paralyzed below my neck. I spent 17 days at Christianity Care Hospital in the ICU where I was initially put on a ventilator. After leaving the ICU, I was transferred to Helen Hayes Hospital for rehabilitation. I remained on the ventilator for 2 1/2 months while undergoing rigorous therapy (physical, occupational, respiratory, and speech) to maintain muscular, orthopedic, respiratory and cardiovascular health as well as to learn how to use assistive technology and a wheelchair. My first interaction with RCAL came during my stay at Helen Hayes, when I became enrolled in the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver Program (NHTD). After almost 6 months of therapy, I returned home to Lake Katrine to a newly modified and handicap accessible home.

With my accident and rehabilitation came a great understanding of life with a disability and needing rehabilitation, and a personal imperative to advocate for issues, knowledge, concerns, needs and rights of people with disabilities. I am currently pursuing a degree at Ulster County Community College after transferring credits I’d been working on since my accident at SUNY Empire State College in communications and political science.

I take a great interest in the field of Regenerative Medicine as well as stem cell research and the numerous sciences that encompass the field  After acquiring a vehicle and its necessary modifications, my family and I were able to attend the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit hosted by Genetics Policy Institute in Detroit, Michigan. This was a 3 day convention and collaboration of scientists, doctors, politicians and advocates, promoting and presenting the most current efforts in regenerative medicine.

As I learn, I hope to spread awareness and public action geared towards the equality of individuals with disabilities, and the growth of the science that is turning sci-fi into reality and will soon be on the front lines of repairing and reversing some of the most debilitating conditions we suffer in today’s society. If you are interested in helping advocate for the disability community or would like more information, please call me at 845-256-8928, or email me at kgurgui@rcal.org

2010 World Stem Cell Summit, Detroit Michigan

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16 responses to “Bio

  1. This is great Keith and I love the images you used. You did a fantastic job and I look forward to updates.
    Love, Aunt Joanne

  2. Daniele Yannucci

    WOW! You have created an incredible resource. You’re an amazing individual, Keith and I really applaud your determination for learning. I am excited to learn with you – keep posting! Best wishes on your journey.

  3. Great Job..proud of you
    Carl Mondello

  4. Impressive. How do you do it? Dad

  5. Great Job! I don’t know how you figure it all out!

    Looking forward to the updates…keep them coming!

    Bette

  6. Keith, looks awesome. You’re sending out some important emails, and the blog will bring an added personal touch that i’m looking forward to following. Solidarity fist from down here in Costa Rica. -Matt

  7. in·spi·ra·tion (nsp-rshn)
    n.
    1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

    2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.

    Keith, You are my inspiration. Well done! Love, Cathy Fleck

  8. Jacqueline Gurgui

    This is the product of an awesome human being. Keep it up. Love you. -Jacq

  9. Keith – You are Super. Keep doing what you’re doing. You are a true warrior. Hope!
    Love, Uncle John

  10. Keith,
    It was great to see you on Sunday. Your Dad’s right – you are impressive.
    Love, Paul

  11. Hey, Keith: what an awesome blog. i look forward to reading more. ( great graphics, too) By the way, was that your name I saw on the scroll on Steven Colbert’s the other night? All our best to you and the family. Heidi & Eugene

  12. Wow! Keith ,this is a great website.Your talents have never ceased to amaze me. I am very impressed . I wish you every success in all you are doing the help advocate for others with disabilities .I know that you will make a great difference in many lives. I look forward to reading future blogs and becoming more informed on issues and how we as a community can become involved in moving things forward in a positive direction.Thank you for all you do as it means so much to so many.
    Catherine

  13. Keith,
    Wow! Wonderful site! You will truly make a difference and benefit many. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!
    Kathy Nerp

  14. This site is super gravy!

  15. Keith, you’ve done a great job designing this website. It is beautiful. Keep up the good work!
    Dilnavaz Mirza

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