Meet Tom Karjala! Tom (84) is married to his wife Molly and they have three grown children, Matt, Thomas and Anne, a Dog (Texas) and a Siamese cat (Sarabelle).

Tom’s Bellin Health Fitness journey began two and a half years ago when his Physical Therapist at Rennes Health and Rehab Center suggested that he continue his workouts to increase his fitness. She brought him to Bellin Health Fitness where he met with Team Facilitator, Jason Infusino, who showed him what exercise equipment was available and what he could do considering his condition.  Tom said “I sort of signed up!!”

Tom has had to and continues to work on overcoming a weak left leg due to a spinal cord injury and the general weakness he suffers is because of a shutdown of his autonomous nerve system.  Tom has worked with our team of Personal Trainers, namely Spencer Lichon, to get himself stronger and he has partially achieved his goal of walking.  His goal is to be able to walk safely unassisted for short distance.

The change in Tom’s life has been great. He is stronger, AND, he has begun to take steps for longer distances. He says “You will have to talk to Spencer about how far I have “toddled” along.  It is 50 yards at least!” That is a tremendous achievement for him!

Tom would advise older people to stay in shape or get in shape. He also states “ If you need one, get a personal trainer.  Your life will be so much better because physically and mentally you are stronger.  You will be better able to enjoy outings with family and friends.”  He also wanted to be sure to say that the entire staff are very friendly and upbeat.  “That is contagious!!!”

On a personal note, I loved watching Tom change from the guy who would say “I’m crabby” whenever I asked him how he was doing…to the guy who jokes around with us and has thrived with the progress he has made from working with our personal trainers. I look forward to seeing him every time he comes in to give him a big hello and sometimes a little scare to make sure his heart is pumping.