November’s Community Captains of the month, Mary, Liz, and Greg Rahall
Mary Rahall is a native of southern West Virginia, a former athlete and avid runner, as well as an award winning and nationally acclaimed Dental Internet Marketing entrepreneur and motivational speaker. In April of 2020, Mary randomly fell and broke her left fibula, due to balance problems and a gradual worsening of peripheral neuropathy in her legs, caused by thermal and electrical burn injuries to her chest, neck, head, forearms, quads, and spine caused by the negligent use of an electrosurgery unit and laser during breast surgery at a small practice, which was located at the time in Kanawha City in May of 2014.
The internal burn injuries caused vocal cord, airway, and respiratory problems, as well as cognitive and neuromuscular issues, and triggered chronic inflammation. Her symptoms were dismissed as normal and nothing more than a sunburn by the plastic surgeon. Due to a tingling headache, which caused an intoxicated feeling that lasted nearly a year, Mary was not aware that she had sustained brain damage and was not able to process sensory information, nor access the situation correctly.
It wasn’t until years later, after gradually coming out of brain fog, that she learned the truth, by going out of state for medical care, while trying to figure out what had caused her cognitive and neuromuscular issues, and eventually discovered that she was a “severe burn trauma survivor”, most likely caused by an electrocution and airway fire, and was then referred to specialists for cognitive rehab and PTSD therapy.
Mary spent nearly a year in a wheelchair after breaking her fibula, due to the varying degrees of numbness, (which is worst in areas of electrical burn scars, such as her chest, neck and quads), as well as varying degrees of weakness and balance problems, and went to physical therapy and received numerous IVIG treatments, which helped reduce some of the chronic inflammation.
After regaining some energy and strength in her legs, she was able to get up from a seated position without falling down. She became extremely motivated and worked hard while transitioning from a wheelchair to a walker rollator. In 2022, Mary continued working hard on strengthening her legs to help compensate for the neuropathy and balance problems, and was able to transition to a cane.
In the spring of 2023, Mary wanted to become more active and mobile, so she could walk further, regain independence, travel, and began participating in a few activities sponsored by Active SWV. She had so much fun while doing things to regain more energy and strength, and was so inspired by a couple of the Community Captains, that she began a Mindful Walking Group, (Find her Facebook group page: Fayetteville Mindful Walking with Mary) this past spring, and has been walking with a cane at least 2 to 3 times a week, encouraging others to stay active doing what they love, and to never give up on their dreams. “I feel incredibly blessed to be alive and to be a part of Active SWV. I strongly encourage anyone wanting to become more active, connect with others, or become a part of something beneficial for themselves and their community, to join Active SWV.”
In addition to Mary, Active SWV happily welcomed Greg (Mary’s husband) and Liz (their daughter) Rahall as volunteer Community Captains this year. You can find one or both of them playing Thursday evening Pickleball in Fayetteville, helping others learn the fun and social sport. Facebook Group Page: Active SWV Pickleball.
Greg, like Mary, works in the dental marketing field. Liz is preparing for a career in the medical field. Both Greg and Liz are active to stay mentally and physically healthy, and because they have benefited from active lifestyles since childhood.
Greg says he volunteers because he “finds value in having something fun to do with other members of our community.” Liz says, “I feel better when I’m finding new ways to challenge myself and getting to meet new people.” In addition to the opportunity to stay physically active, Active SWV programs offer a senses of community connectedness and friendship. These are the reasons the Rahall family would recommend that anyone get involved with a free Active SWV program.
To join Mary’s walking group, Pickleball with Greg and Liz, and see the whole variety of free volunteer Community Captain led programming, visit our website calendar.
If you, like this lovely family, want to make a difference in your own health and have a ripple effect in your own community, consider becoming a volunteer Community Captain. Click here to begin!