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Chasin’ for Chalfin was established in the fall of 2010 in support of Jake Chalfin, a steeplechase jockey who was paralyzed in a fall on September 18th 2010 at the Blue Ridge Point to Point Races. Realizing the immediate financial ramifications of this tragedy, Jake’s friends and family banded together to create a fundraising committee and a medical trust. While Jake does have standard insurance, his coverage falls severely short of the care needs for injuries as catastrophic and permanent as paralysis.
Initial fundraising efforts financed the renovation of Jake’s house to accommodate wheel chair access upon his return home. Later when Jake was released from the hospital, the trust funded several alternative therapy programs, along with the 24 hour personal care that was required for his condition. Two years later, as Jake has worked hard to adapt and rebuild his life and independence, he has reduced his personal care requirements down to just a few hours a day and has been in general good health.
Jake is determined to continue to improve his independence and still needs your help in this pursuit. One of Jake’s main focuses is strengthening and rebuilding his body. He knows that the stronger and healthier he becomes the more independent he will be. Jake dreams of a day when he will once again be completely self-sufficient. To this end Jake works out 3 days a week at Mitch's Market Street Gym in West Chester with his personal trainer, Doug Slabach and rides his handcycle on alternating days and seeks out other specialized methods of therapy. Jake still feels disconnected from nature and the great outdoors where his heart truly lives. Included in his health and fitness goals is finding new ways of getting back to nature through outdoor recreational sports. This winter Jake hopes to take on the new challenge of adaptive “sit-skiing.” He also remains a huge supporter and fan of steeplechase racing and is becoming more involved in the stewards program of the National Steeplechase Association.
Jake is also fortunate enough to have retained his job in sales as he can perform most of his work from home. After missing six months he returned to his job, which was held open for him by his very supportive company. Jake loves his job and is grateful for the ability to cover his "regular" household expenses. Realizing how close he came to losing even more functionality, he is particularly appreciative to be a contributing member of the workforce.
Jake never wants to give up on the big goal. Recovering the use of his bodily functions and legs remains paramount. However, full recovery seems to be solely reliant on the development of a stem cell cure. While progress has been made in this field, Jake believes that the applicable technology is still between 10-50 years away. This goal is all the more reason for him to keep his body as healthy and strong as possible for when a legitimate stem cell procedure becomes available.
Meanwhile ChasinforChalfin will continue to periodically hold fundraisers, and donations are always welcome. It is CFC's goal to make every event a fun first class experience. Please keep checking the website for updates and we look forward to seeing you at our next function.
A Paypal account has been set up to hopefully make it easier to contribute to Jake's Trust. All the fundraising and donations go to paying for his medical care. You can make a donation thru PayPal by simply clicking on the donate button: