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Community Service

Summer Special Olympics (June 9-10, 2018)


The Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. They are the world’s largest sports organization with intellectual disabilities: with 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. This year, more than 1,100 athletes from across the Southern California area came to compete, making it the largest competition of the year. 28 MSMU students were in attendance offering physical therapy screening support for those competing through the healthy athletes booth.

“Volunteering for the Special Olympics was a great reminder as to why I wanted to be a physical therapist. Meeting the athletes, hearing their stories and motivating them to do their best during each test are only a snapshot of what happened at the Fun Fitness booth. I highly recommend every PT student to volunteer for this event at least once while in school.”

- Jackie Cabuhat, MSMU 2020


Life Rolls On

Founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls On is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury. Believing that adaptive surfing and skating could inspire infinite possibilities beyond paralysis, Life Rolls On began as a splash into the unknown on September 11, 2001; achieving 501c3 nonprofit status in 2002; and now touches the lives of hundreds of thousands. This year, 5 MSMU students volunteered their time for a full 8-hour day of water transfers, providing a means to surf for those that may not otherwise do so.

“This was my 6th time participating at Life Rolls On and I will have to say that I will always have the same passion for this service every time I participate. There are several roles for volunteers, but I will have to say being a swimmer in the water is best volunteer role in order to get the whole experience. Life Rolls On is an adaptive sports surfing program for people with various disabilities. It is a day where participants can experience a thrilling feeling that they may have been missing due to their restrictions.

All the participants I encountered were so enthusiastic and excited to surf, but the participant that stood out to me the most was this little boy. He was afraid of being out in the ocean and he wore a life vest that covered almost his entire neck. He increasingly began to trust the volunteers out in the water after each successive wave and he was having a blast. At the end of the service, he noticed me and he thanked me for helping him and said good-bye. This service is the reason why I chose to pursue physical therapy and it replenishes my passion for it every time I participate.”

- Alan Vu, MSMU 2020