Former Patient with Polio Makes Significant Contribution to Foundation

ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 10, 2009 - A former physical therapy patient from Prince George's County, Maryland, grateful for the physical therapy he received years after contracting polio, but always wishing he had received it sooner, has made, through his estate, a significant financial gift to the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

The estimated $500,000 gift from the estate of Lansdale and Gladys Clagett of Upper Marlboro, Maryland will be announced by the Foundation for Physical Therapy at its annual dinner dance on Thursday, June 11 at the Hilton Baltimore. The event will be held during the American Physical Therapy Association's Annual Conference in Baltimore, June 10-13.

Lansdale Clagett, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Prince George's County Commissioner, contracted polio as a young adult, around 1920. After 20 years of physical therapy at a local hospital and with a visiting physical therapist, beginning in the 1950s, Clagett fulfilled his dream of lifting himself out of his wheelchair and walking up a hill to his nephew's home.

"My uncle was determined to walk on his own, and one day, he did just that," described nephew Robert Y. Clagett, Esq, of Upper Marlboro. "Using crutches, and with his physical therapist by his side, he walked about a block over a hill from his house to our house next door, fulfilling his dream." My uncle always said that if physical therapy had been available when he first contracted polio, he would have been able to walk most of his life. He wanted other people to have the chance to receive the greatest benefit from physical therapy. That's why he gave a large portion of his estate to help the physical therapy research efforts of the Foundation."

Robert Clagett, Esq, and extended family will be recognized during the Foundation event that raises funds for physical therapy research and honors those who have supported the Foundation's mission. Notably, one Clagett family member is a physical therapy student. Rachel Clagett, great niece of Lansdale and Gladys, also from Maryland, is a student at the University of South Carolina.

"We are deeply thankful for the Clagett family's generous bequest to the Foundation," said Foundation President Richard K. Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA. "It is especially meaningful to all physical therapists and researchers in the profession that this gift comes from a patient who so appreciated the physical therapy care he received he included the Foundation in his will. This is the greatest testimony to the importance of physical therapy."

"The Clagetts' gift will support the Foundation's mission of improving patient care through clinical research, doctoral scholarships, and fellowships," Shields continued. "The scientific knowledge that will result will undoubtedly benefit many, many people for years to come."

The Foundation for Physical Therapy, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a charitable organization that has awarded more than $12 million in research grants, doctoral scholarships, and fellowships that have lead to groundbreaking outcomes that have positively impacted the lives of patients.

Established in 1979, the Foundation for Physical Therapy is a national, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships.

Contributions to the Foundation for Physical Therapy are tax deductible and can be made online at or sent to its headquarters in Alexandria, VA. Mailing address is PO Box 1017, Merrifield, VA 22116-9767. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800/875-1378.