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Former champion race car driver opens affordable rehabilitation center

Posted: 6:40 PM, Oct 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-27 20:24:26Z

A unique, affordable rehabilitation center for people with disabilities opens Saturday in downtown Las Vegas.

Driven, located at 701 E Bridger Avenue, is the brainchild of former champion race car driver Sam Schmidt, who was forced to end his racing career nearly 20 years ago when he was injured in a training accident. 

Schmidt, who's a paraplegic, says he was inspired to open Driven because of the kind of wraparound rehabilitation services and support he's had in the years since his injury. 

"I was on a ventilator and they gave me three to five years," Schmidt said. "But because of this type of rehabilitation and then me starting a company, getting back to work and having a reason to get up every morning - that's the reason I'm still here, pure and simple."

Driven's mission is pure and simple, too - to offer a comprehensive rehab center that is also affordable.

The not-for-profit exists through a combination of public funding including Medicaid, private donations and foundations like Conquer Paralysis Now.

Schmidt said his goal is to not turn anyone away, regardless of what they can afford to pay.

"We want to connect the dots and basically after somebody has a tragic accident or a disability, we want to try to get them integrated back into the community," Schmidt said. 

The facility's holistic approach to rehabilitation means offering everything from intensive neuro recovery equipment to wheelchair accessible circuit training.

There will be wheelchair and disabled yoga and pilates classes and a wellness program that focuses on nutrition and cooking.

The center will serve people of all ages and varying conditions and disabilities. These include people suffering from spinal cord injuries, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, brain injuries, amputees and Transverse Myelitis. 

A grand opening celebration is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.