Role Reversal: Duane Morrow’s New Place at the Shepherd Center

Last year, the Shepherd Center admitted 947 people to its inpatient programs and 538 people to its day patient programs. Ranked in the Top Ten rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, they see more than 6,000 people a year as outpatients – and all of them have had spinal cord or brain injuries.

Duane Morrow, Primerica’s Executive Vice President of Field Marketing, visits many of these patients, reminding them that, despite their circumstances, life can still be a full, beautiful experience. A trustee of the board of directors of the Shepherd Center Foundation, Duane hands out copies of his book “Y Not You” and visits with anyone willing to hear his message of hope and gratitude. Duane was once a patient at the Shepherd Center himself.

(To learn more about Duane’s amazing story of survival and recovery, read “The Adventure Continues.”)

Doing What Matters
Now, Duane helps the center because, “life with purpose and significance is a blessed life.” The center gave so much to him, he says, and mentoring people who have the same challenges he once had gives new meaning to his life. “When someone can work to be independent again, witnessing that transformation changes lives and shows people that there is no such thing as impossible,” he says.

He believes so strongly in what the center has to offer that he has become a member of their coveted Bridge Builders Society, meaning he has made provisions for them in his estate plans.

Duane explains, “The people at the Shepherd Center make it different from anywhere else. Their attitude, expertise and willingness to help make all the difference. Plus, the center pushes the limits on technology and research and implement it into aggressive therapy.” That’s why he wants to leave a legacy of service to the organization long after he’s gone. But for now, he’s content knocking on doors and spending a little time helping new patients get accustomed to their “new normal.”

“Every time a friend or therapist asks me to visit with a new patient, I go. I truly believe that I get more out of it than they do – every time. It’s the job I get to do, not one I have to do. There is where I really get paid in the currency that matters most: a life of purpose and significance.”

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