Lori Hammond Campaign


Swim with Mike has been an integral part of my return back to school after my spinal cord injury. Since the time I was four years old, I have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. While a sophomore at UC Davis, studying Animal Science, I began having excruciating back pain that would come and go. One evening, I felt this same pain and left a friend’s house early to try and get some rest, but when I got home and laid down, I realized something serious was happening as I could no longer move or feel from my belly button on down. I was rushed to the Emergency Room in an ambulance and underwent an emergency spinal surgery, where they found that blood had compressed by spinal cord 80-90%. As the days passed I realized that my life had likely been changed forever. The one thought that saddened me most was wondering whether I would still be able to be a veterinarian in a wheelchair. I spent the following year in recovery, working hard every day to maximize any return. I was lucky to find Project Walk where I felt I could return to my inner athlete and work hard to accomplish physical goals. It was here that I learned about Swim with Mike which introduced me to many inspirational people that had faced similar injuries and were able to continue their educational pursuits. These stories helped provide me with the confidence I needed to return to school and continue my goals I had set for myself before my spinal cord injury. I am ecstatic to announce that in May of 2017 I graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and realized my dream of becoming a veterinarian.  I am now working as an Intern Veterinarian at VCA Mission Animal and Bird Hospital in Oceanside, CA where every day I feel blessed to be living out my dream.

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