The Andrew and Mary Bryce SCI Life Challenge Scholarship Fund has been established in memory of Andrew Bryce, an avid outdoorsman, husband, father, and person with traumatic spinal cord injury for twenty-five years who remained independent until his death at age 84 in 2007 and his wife Mary who helped facilitate his independence.
Mr. & Mrs. Bryce were married for 61 years. They were long time residents of Eagle Mills, New York where they raised 5 children and were beloved members of the community. Mr. Bryce was a cabinet maker and contractor, specializing in kitchens. He was also very active in Boy Scout Troop 27 and the volunteer fire company. He joined the fire company in 1953 and became a lifetime member, serving as fire commissioner from 1972-1984 and chairman from 1979-1984.
Mary Elizabeth (Olson) Bryce was born in Albany NY on August 20,1924 the daughter of Mary and Arlden Olson and sister to Sonny Olson and Eleanor Sherman Baun. She grew up on the family farm in Eagle Bridge.
Mary graduated from Hoosick Falls Central School. One of her proudest moments was graduating from Hudson Valley Community College with honors from the first Dental Hygiene class in 1962. At the time, she was 38 years old and had four young children at home. Mary went on to teach at Hudson Valley, work in private dental offices and finally retire from Hoosick Falls Central School where she had cleaned the teeth of every child in attendance at the time.
Mary loved to play bridge and scrabble and was always ready for a friendly challenge. She and Andy traveled the country in their RV which was no small feat as Andy was a paraplegic for 25 years. She was a great teacher and mentor to her family especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Things were always interesting when Mary Bryce was around!
Survivors include her 5 children: Nancy E. Twaddell (Victor) of Hebron, William Bryce (Pamela) of Englewood, CO, Barbara Barnewall (Jim) of Eagle Bridge, Andrew D. Bryce of Eagle Mills, and Dr Thomas N Bryce (Priscilla) of Pelham NY; 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Mrs. Bryce donated her body her body to the Anatomical Gift Program at Albany Medical College.
Mr. and Mrs. Bryce’s son,Thomas N Bryce, M.D., is a world renowned expert in spinal cord injury. Dr. Bryce has served as Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Mount Sinai Hospital since 2001 and as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Ambulatory Services since 2008.
Life Challege Scholarship
The purpose of this Scholarship Fund is to provide financial support for persons to participate in the Life Challenge Program administered by the Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System.
The Life Challenge Program enables individuals with SCI opportunities to participate in activities that may seem impossible because of their disability. Activities vary from “simple and safe” local outings (e.g., attending a movie and going to a Broadway show) to out-of-town, “high-activity” day-long trips (e.g., horseback riding or kayaking), and from learning new leisure skills (such as swimming and scuba diving) to “on-the-edge” adventure trips (e.g., whitewater rafting, glider plane rides, skydiving, and snow skiing). By participating in a Life Challenge Program activity, individuals with SCI and their family members are invited to face community-based obstacles together. The goals of the Life Challenge Program are to:
- Educate newly injured persons about recreational activities available to them in the community
- Introduce problem-solving strategies for overcoming obstacles in real life situations that are outside familiar surroundings
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Create bonds among persons with SCI and establish peer networks in the community
Over the last 10 years, more than 250 individuals with SCI have participated in 85 different Life Challenge Program events.
For more information on the SCI Life Challenge Program, please contact Richard (Woody) Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help Empower People with Spinal Cord Injuries