Chris Simpson with Derek LeBlanc, physical therapist assistant

Christopher Simpson, a 56-year-old truck driver, started noticing worrying symptoms earlier in 2019 with numbness and pain in his lower spine and legs.


After several tests, he found out he had breast cancer with metastasis. He has undergone eight surgeries in the past year and has fought hard to recover from each one. He came to Life Care Center of North Glendale, Arizona, for prior surgeries and came back this time for rehab from cervical spinal laminectomy and fusion.


Simpson lives alone in a second-floor apartment and relies on friends to help when needed.


“His bright smile and never-quit attitude inspires all of us,” shared Donna Black, director of rehab. “When I asked Chris why he chose Life Care of North Glendale, he said, ‘Brett Newton, occupational therapist, and Derek LeBlanc, physical therapist assistant, inspire me and push me to get stronger.’”


When he first arrived, Simpson could only walk five feet in the parallel bars with assistance. Now, he can walk more than 200 feet with a front wheeled walker and standby assistance, and he is independent with his activities of daily living. He feels much stronger and is planning to go home soon, thanks to the great nursing care and therapy he received at Life Care Center of North Glendale.


“I know that we teach our patients how to be more independent,” Black added, “but the real truth is that our patients teach us every day what courage and perseverance really mean.”