Awards will be presented this morning to two area people who have worked to deal with or overcome a disability.
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, will be at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital to present personal achievement awards to Danielle Gibbons and Frank Germino, both of Warriors Mark.
Three others will receive community advocate awards.
Gibbons, 38, was injured June 18, 2010, when her car was struck head-on on the Buckhorn. Her injuries included a shattered right tibia and fibula and several ligament tears. She underwent nine surgeries, including a skin graft, bone graft and heel cord lengthening.
The other driver was killed in the crash.
Gibbons began her outpatient physical therapy at HealthSouth in October and was discharged in July.
A single mother of two, Gibbons has returned to work as a nurse practitioner in the outpatient behavioral health clinic for Primary Health Network.
"[HealthSouth] provided support, encouragement and reassurance that 'you can do that and you can get better.' They were there every step of the way. If they didn't rearrange their schedule for me, I wouldn't have been able to do it," Gibbons said. "My employer also redid their schedule so I could meet my goals. I had great support from everybody."
On Oct. 9, Germino, 56, fell 12 feet from a tree stand while hunting, broke his back in five places and suffered spinal cord damage.
After five hours of surgery, he was told he would never walk again, according to his wife, Kimberly.
However, after several weeks of rehabilitation at HealthSouth, he walked out of the hospital with the use of a walker.
Germino continues to deal with other health problems, but his wife said he has never given up or wanted to quit.
"I can't say enough about [HealthSouth]. If not for them, I would not be where I am," Frank Germino said.
Community advocate awards will be presented to Shelly Beaver and Sherri McGregor, both of Altoona, for their work with "Sense-ational Endeavors," a summer camp for children with disabilities, and to Joe Reed, for his work with the Miracle League of Blair County.
"This camp has been a dream of mine for many years, and I am pleased we were provided the opportunity to conduct this camp thanks to the commitment and passion of Shelly Beaver and the support of Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona," said McGregor, education and training specialist at Penn State Altoona. "It was wonderful watching the children interact and grow throughout the week of camp."
"I am proud to provide such opportunities specifically designed to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities," said Beaver, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist.
Reed of Altoona spearheaded efforts to form the Miracle League of Blair County, which provides an opportunity for children with special needs to play baseball. The local league opened in July 2007 with 24 children. Today, more than 125 children participate along with 175 volunteers.
"This award is not for me, it is for the staff. I am just accepting the award," Reed said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.