Donate to Support Marka Rodgers

Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my initial $5,000 fundraising goal! Since I’ve had so much support and people continue to ask me about PAALS and how to help, I’ve decided to set a second goal to raise another $5,000 to help cover a portion of the $30,000 required to produce a service dog for free for a veteran.

HI! My name is Marka Danielle Rodgers. I am an incomplete quadriplegic from a cervical spinal cord injury (C3-7) in June of 2012. Initially I could not move from the shoulders down but with much help from my lifelong training as a Ballet and Musical Theater dancer and the encouragement of my amazing rehab team, I am now able to live a more independent life, pushing my own wheelchair and also using some very specialized mechanical leg braces which I use for exercise and around my home.

My independence is something that I have always been proud of. It is something my parents taught me from an early age, so I would be a successful and productive human being. I work hard to continue what I did before my accident, teaching ballet and fitness. I also work as a Peer Mentor for SCI patients and am a advocate for people with disabilities. I am on the City of Charleston’s Commission for Disability Issues and also work with other local programs for people with physical disabilities that help them get into more active and healthy lifestyles. I am also a breast cancer survivor. I am presently trying to get my certification as a Yoga instructor as well but am finding that because I tire so easily, there never seems to be enough time to study and practice for my exams. The struggle to do what I need to and love to do every day is real. Yes, I am an overachiever, 😉, but, I think this is why I have been so successful in my rehab and in life in general.

Having a PAALS dog would be an amazing help for me as I do struggle to carry things from place to place, my lap is only so big; to pick up things off the floor and carry things, my hands are only so strong; and day to day tasks take it’s toll. One particular thing that I look forward to is not having to call for help when I’m stuck in places where the doors are too heavy to open! I have actually had to call a restaurant from inside their bathroom and ask them to let me out, how embarrassing! I am beyond honored to have been chosen to be a PAALS client and am really looking forward to being matched with my new best friend.

To make a donation to support Marka, please complete the form below.

You may also donate by mailing a check to PAALS, 221 N. Grampian Hills Rd., Columbia, SC 29223. Please note it may take up to three weeks to receive a postal letter acknowledging your donation and providing your receipt for tax purposes. Online donations are acknowledged and sent a receipt immediately via email.