25 Nov He Keeps on Ticking
Happy Birthday to Kenny Lyons, who just turned 50 this month! Kenny stated he is like a Timex watch: he “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” When Kenny was 17, he fell asleep while driving late at night and hit a bridge. He sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which required significant medical care and rehabilitation. In 1990 he was admitted to the New Hope residential facility on Beta Hall, which was the unit designated for individuals with TBIs. At that time, he needed a wheelchair for mobility, but through his determination and therapy with Reba Kerkhof, New Hope’s physical therapist at the time, he was able to gradually regain his ability to walk. Having that mobility independence was and still is extremely important to Kenny. To this day, walking is one of his favorite things to do because he feels it is healthy and keeps his weight off.
In 1990 as the residential facility was downsizing for closure, Kenny moved into the community in the Supported Living Program. He moved to an apartment for several years and later to one of New Hope’s homes, where he currently resides. Kenny has held several jobs including a job at a nearby car wash and at Cub Foods. He really enjoyed talking to and helping customers at the grocery store. Helping others is very much a part of who Kenny is, as he continually assists the associates who work at his home and his housemates. In the home he gets the mail, takes the trash out and helps with other household tasks.
Kenny doesn’t really have a favorite place to go, but he certainly enjoys the going. He says he is on the “see food” diet – if he sees food, he eats it. He does like going to Taco Bell but also likes Chinese restaurants, too. On Wednesdays, he goes to the 57th St. Day Services and enjoys spending time there. Not surprising, he likes the cookouts and special meals they prepare and eat. He is close with his family and goes home every weekend with his brother or sister.
Despite the challenges Kenny has faced throughout his 50 years, he continually exhibits a positive, friendly and helpful spirit. Everyone who is around Kenny appreciates his great sense of humor which keeps things fun. Keep on ticking Kenny!