Lions Club to honor former Rancho patient

DOWNEY – Lions Clubs International will honor a former patient of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center at its annual Tree of Life ceremony Dec. 29. Victor J. Wright, who suffered a spinal injury in September 1976 while playing football for John Muir High School in Pasadena, will be recognized with a gold leaf, to be added to a permanent memorial on the hospital’s lobby wall.

The Tree of Life, a sponsored project of Lions Clubs International, supports the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, which helps patients lead a productive life.

Wright, now 53, spent six months at Rancho Los Amigos in 1977 following six months in intensive care at Huntington Memorial Hospital. Since then, he graduated on time with his high school classmates; became one of the first quadriplegics to earn a college degree; co-founded an international non-profit charity; became an ordained minister; and recently completed his memoirs, “The Wright Stuff: a Story of Perseverance, Inspiration and Hope” (available at Barnes and Noble and at Amazon).

“It took him 10 years to earn his associate degree,” said friend and high school classmate David Rutherford, a member of the City of Industry Lions Club and co-author of the book. “The autobiography was six years in the making. Every time we thought we were done with it, he kept writing another chapter in his life.”

This is not the first time Wright has been honored by Lions. In 2001, a benefit golf tournament co-sponsored by the Pasadena Host Lions Club raised funds to offset the cost of medical supplies and a concrete ramp at his Altadena home.

 

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Published: Dec. 18, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 36