PushNationFest.org | Push Nation Festival: People getting together in the paralysis community
Push Nation Fest is an event designed to bring the paralysis community together in one place, focused on pushing each other to learn, dream and achieve more than ever before. Featuring groundbreaking technology, captivating entertainment and hands-on workshops.
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Get ready to laugh with Comedian Bill Zapf

You definitely don’t want to miss out on non-stop laughs during this year’s comedy show with Rolling Comic Bill Zapf at the annual Push Nation Fest.

Bill has always had a love for comedy and making people laugh his entire life! After his hockey accident, he didn’t let that stop him from continuing to do one of the things he loved. He’s won numerous comedy competitions including Tampa Improv’s 2014 “Clash if the Comics” and worked with other great comedians such as Jim Breuer, Josh Blue, and Carl Labove. He even became Rosie O’Donnell’s opener when she came down to the Sunshine State! And you’ve probably heard him on SiriusXM Radio before.

“I see things a little differently,” he says. His material ranges from his edgy approach towards his disability and his life as a father of 5 as well as a husband. He’ll even answer all those questions you were too scared to ask, but are dying to hear! So don’t miss out this rolling comic’s performance’s at the Push Nation Fest April 22, 2016 at 6pm!


United Spinal Association Joins as Sponsor of Push Nation Festival 2016

As we reach the eight month countdown to our first annual Push Nation Festival 2016, things are really pushing forward. We are thrilled to announce one of our exceptional sponsors: United Spinal Association.

The United Spinal Association is an organization dedicated to pushing the spinal cord injuries and disorders community towards a better tomorrow. They provide information to patients, loved ones, care providers, and professionals alike; hoping that they can help promote independence and create a support network for themselves.

United Spinal was founded in 1946 by a group of World War II veterans with severe paralysis. They vowed to advocate for civil rights and greater self-independence after receiving poor treatment at their local New York VA hospital. Since then, the group has persevered beyond their SCI/Disorders to live a fulfilling and productive life, spreading the message to others that with the strength to believe it and a bit of courage – others can be happy too.

Today, United Spinal pushes their research and education initiatives. You’ll see them involved in government policy, civil rights, accessibility, architectural design, and competitive athletics. This makes them the prominent non-profit dedicated to helping those patients with spinal cord injuries or disorders.

About Push Nation Festival 2016:

Push Nation Fest is a fun, fresh event designed to bring the paralysis community together in one place, focused on pushing each other to learn, dream and achieve more than ever before.

Featuring groundbreaking technology, captivating entertainment and hands-on workshops, the inaugural Push Nation Fest will be like no other you’ve attended in the past. Join us in Tampa, FL on April 22nd from 2-8pm and April 23rd from 10am-5pm as we celebrate the people, products and technology that are improving the future landscape of the paralysis community.

Pushing the Paralysis community toward a better tomorrow.


When PUSH Comes to LIVE

The people at Push Living don’t let the limitations of a wheelchair stop them from traveling the world.  The organization is dedicated to being the leading light for people with disabilities exploring tourism, leisure, and lifestyle mediums.

Committed to making the world “accessible to all”, Push Living is taking the steps to create change. They are doing so by educating and enlightening the public to transform their preconceived beliefs of what people with disabilities can and cannot do.

Who’s the voice behind Push Living?

The voice behind Push Living is Deborah Davis, a sales and marketing, training, educating, advocacy, mentoring and public speaking extraordinaire. She is making her mark through her efforts to raise awareness for those living with disabilities.

In addition to being an accomplished business woman and world traveler, she’s a loved wife and mother of two girls. Deborah is an inspirational individual who, despite her obstacles, has defied expectations.  Deborah sustained a C6/7 spinal cord injury during a car accident at age 18 that rendered her an incomplete quadriplegic.

However, she didn’t let that stop her. Over the course of her adult life, Deborah has done it all. She’s obtained professional roles specializing in medical equipment and supplies sales and marketing. She’s been professional fundraiser for Not for Profits in addition to her positions as  Director of Development and Public Relations and Executive Director for Abilities of Florida.

Davis has been appointed into several professional organizations including being elected to the Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Board for the State of Florida, serving as President of the Business Coalition for Americans with Disabilities, being a Board Member and VP of the Florida Rehabilitation Association, and participating as a member of The National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

Deborah shares her story all over the country and her expertise in accessible tourism and inclusion. She hopes to spread disability awareness, education, and inspiration. Recently, Deborah was the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Michigan POHI/SXI Conference.

So what do Deborah and Push Living have to say these days?

It’s an issue that many overlook: What do you do when you go to a restaurant or bar that only has stools and high-tops? What was meant to be a relaxing happy hour with co-workers has become an evening of awkward neck pain for those in wheelchairs. The ADA was adopted for this exact situation.

This is where the #DroptheHIGHTOPS Campaign comes into play. A movement focused on bringing awareness to the hospitality industry about those pesky high tops. The campaign encourages businesses to drop some of those high tops to make everyone feel accommodated and comfortable. To be a part of the cause, send photos to Push Living of your experiences with high tops and how it has affected you. #DropTheHighTops will then with then post the photos to their “Hall of Shame.” Find out more about the campaign here.



Hope comes to Tampa as Spinal Cord Injury Rehab Center Opens


Romulo “Romy” and Gabriela Camargo’s dreams came true earlier this month with the opening of the Stay In Step Recovery Center. The organization offers world class rehabilitation and collaboration for spinal cord injured veterans and civilians in the Tampa community and surrounding areas.

The Camargo’s journey to founding Stay In Step began nearly seven years ago when Camargo was in the Special Forces touring Afghanistan.  He and his fellow soldiers were ambushed on September 16, 2008 and Camargo was hit by a bullet in the back of the neck resulting in paralysis from the neck down.  Despite a difficult battle to live and temporarily needing a ventilator to breathe, Camargo pushed through and defied doctors’ expectations.

Returning home after a long haul in an in-patient hospital, Camargo was unstoppable. In a recent interview with TBO, he stated, “So when I left, the first day I came to the house I was like, ‘Whoa.’ And then I realized, it’s a new day. Let’s get up and do something.”

Since then, Camargo hasn’t let his injury slow him down. He raises money for multiple charities and delivers inspirational speeches around the country; all while maintaining a grueling physical therapy schedule five days a week.

For years, Camargo had to travel to Project Walk in Orlando for specialized activity based exercise therapy. However, thanks to the recent donation from Toyota Motor North America, the Camargo’s were able to launch Stay In Step in Tampa – greatly reducing their time spent driving.  The Stay In Step Recovery Center has also received generous donations from the James A. Haley VA Medical Center and the University of South Florida.

Stay in Step will aim to provide functional electrical stimulation (FES) and activity based exercise training to help get SCI clients out of the wheelchair environment and up moving. According to Dr. John Merritt, retired chief of the Spinal Cord Injury Center at the James A Haley VA Medical Center, high-activity therapy such as this helps prevent disease and secondary medical complications. Merritt will be acting as Chief Medical Adviser for Stay In Step.

Gabriela Camargo has dedicated herself to the well-being of her husband. She understands first-hand how a seemingly simple trip to therapy and back can be a challenge for other caregivers. So, in order to provide a safe and comfortable place for the families of people affected by a spinal cord injury, Stay In Step has a family room available that includes computers with internet access, resting space and even a state-of-the-art massage chair. Their is also a kid’s room with arts and craft tables and video game consoles. The clinic wants to bring hope to families like the Camargos in pursuit of its vision  to offer SCI survivors and others facing paralysis a real possibility for taking steps toward recovery.


TBO Online: Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Center Comes to Life