When you look at the definition of the word ‘captain’ in the dictionary this is what you see:
1. One who commands, leads, or guides others
2. A figure in the forefront; a leader
3. The person in command of a ship
New CORE client, Capt. Robert Tramontana embodies this definition in many ways. As a tournament angler and owner of Gulf to Bay Sportfishing, he fished the Tampa Bay area from Tarpon Springs to Boca Grande for over 14 years and acted as charter captain and guide. However, during a boating trip with friends in August of 2012 Capt. Robert sustained a spinal cord injury after diving into murky water. After being in a medically induced coma for three weeks fighting an acute respiratory infection, he awoke ready to be the captain of his own recovery.
Yet, just like so many who are thrust into the world of spinal cord injury Capt. Robert and his family soon realized the costs associated with the injury can be astronomical. According to The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first year after an injury can cost upwards of a million dollars with each subsequent year ranging from $40,000 to $170,000. This was not enough to stop Capt. Robert and his family. They decided to start a foundation.
The aptly named Tighten the Drag Foundation raises money to support others who have had a traumatic injury and need additional therapy. The Foundation also raises money to sponsor outings for injured participants to enjoy a fun and relaxing day on the water with a licensed boat captain for a dose of “salt therapy.” The name for the ‘Tighten the Drag Foundation’ references the term ‘Tighten the Drag’ that anglers use when bearing down to fight a big fish and to overcome the strength of the fish.
“You will need that same inner determination and willpower when you are fighting to get your body back to health,” states the Foundation website.
Capt. Robert, along with his mom, Sheila and their growing support network have held fishing and golf tournaments to raise funds and awareness. Capt. Robert is not only fighting for his own recovery, but is using his experience to guide others back from the brink of tragedy. This is the true definition of what being a “Captain” is and all of us at CORE are proud to be a part of his journey. Check him out in action in our gym:
To find out how you can support Captain Robert and the Tighten the Drag Foundation, visit www.tightenthedragfoundation.org or like their page at http://www.Facebook.com/TightentheDragFoundation. To learn more about CORE and activity based therapy for those with spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders, visit www.coreflorida.com or call 321-418-3050.