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Medical Professor Walks Across Kansas for Stroke Research

21 May 2013 @ 8:56 AM  / Outdoor Blog /

University of Kansas Medical School Professor, Sandy Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA and her son Michael have recently embarked on a journey to cross the entire length of Kansas to raise awareness and funds for stroke research at the University of Kansas Hospital.

This is both a personal and professional journey for Sandy.  After a horrible car accident 20 years ago, Sandy sustained mild head trauma, a fractured wrist and spinal nerve damage. This left Sandy with reduced function in her right hand, and no feeling in her pinky finger. This life-changing event led her to the decision to go back to school and become a physical therapist.

Originally from Hays, Kan., Sandy took her first journey across Kansas for the physical therapy program at KU Medical Center, which she completed in 2004. She earned her Ph.D. in 2008, and is also currently an assistant professor at KU Med. Sandy also runs the REACH lab, which is a research lab that focuses on exercise and recovery after stroke.


931232_457715584313914_1534628861_n“Doctors said being healthy and active before my car accident helped my recovery and probably saved my life. My son and I have been through a lot since 1993 and are embarking on this mission together, our Walk Across Kansas, for a second time,” Sandy said. “We hope to survive a new journey…and in doing so inspire others to be physically active.”

Sandy and her son Michael started their journey on May 16, and are on track to finish the 570-mile trek by June 7th  (only 23 days!)—Logging an average of 25 miles per day. She has been documenting their journey on Garmin Adventures, as well as on the Walk Across Kansas Facebook page, and on Twitter using #WhereIsSandy. You can also follow her daily activity using Garmin LiveTrack. Check out the picture below from Google Earth...the blue line in the center is her route.

Way to go Sandy!!


For more information on Sandy's journey or to donate, visit

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