A concert for Cole

October 12, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN - Since Cole Bellon moved back to his parents' Hagerstown home after becoming partially paralyzed last December in a car accident, he's only been out of the house to go to physical therapy.

His mother, Debby Bellon, would love for her 22-year-old son to have the opportunity to get out of the house more - to see his friends, go to the mall and go to Philadelphia for checkups, but that requires a wheelchair-accessible van.

To that end, Bellon's brother, Matt, and friends like Chris Boggs have organized ColeFest. The Saturday festival will feature at least six bands, a silent auction, food, door prizes and raffles. Proceeds and donations will go toward a van, which Debby Bellon estimates could cost $30,000 to $40,000, because a larger door opening is needed for her son's 6-foot-8 frame.

"It's a great thing" that everyone is doing for him, Cole Bellon said during a physical therapy session Monday at Robinwood Medical Center. He will make it to the festival thanks to Westwood Geriatric Care Services, which has volunteered to take Bellon to North Pointe Shopping Center north of Hagerstown.


His rehab transportation was expected to become free this week as Maryland NeuroRehab Foundation has begun making free rehab transportation available to spinal injury patients, according to Debby Bellon and Matthew Lilly, the foundation's clinical coordinator.

The upper part of Bellon's spinal cord was injured during the early morning of Dec. 29 when the Toyota Echo he was a passenger in went off Marsh Pike and hit a utility pole, according to the accident report and Dr. Daniel Sullivan, a physiatrist at Parkway Neuroscience and Spine Institute.

Bellon is incompletely paralyzed from the neck down, Sullivan said. He can move his arms and use his hands somewhat - he cannot move his fingers.

Sullivan said it is unlikely that Bellon will walk again, but there are always new developments in the medical field.

The former North Hagerstown High School and Hagerstown Community College basketball player and baseball pitcher is working on maintaining and building his strength, improving his mobility, and learning daily activities such as moving from a wheelchair into a car, said Tim Burkhart, occupational therapist at Total Rehab Care of Washington County Hospital.

Just last week, he wiggled the toes on his right foot, Cole Bellon said.

"It was really exciting. It's a really good sign," Bellon said. "It gives me a lot more motivation just to know things are working down there."

Bellon, who was studying art at Salisbury University last fall, wants to get back to college courses, perhaps taking online courses as early as the spring semester.

Donations can be made toward Cole Bellon's medical expenses through a trust fund set up at M&T Bank by making a check payable to Cole Bellon, writing "For deposit only" on the back of the check and dropping it off at any M&T Bank branch.

If you go

What: ColeFest, a band festival to raise funds toward a wheelchair-accessible van for a partially paralyzed Hagerstown man

When: Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.

Where: Beef 'O' Brady's parking lot, 18727 North Pointe Drive, North Pointe Shopping Center (off Pennsylvania Avenue with a Food Lion

Cost: $10; free for ages 15 and younger

More: Features the bands Van Lear (punk rock and pop), Blueprints for Disaster (rock), Shook (pop), No Tell Motel (southern rock/country/folk), Black Materia (hard rock) and Emmitt Kellar (acoustic pop).

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