Stories of Impact

Lenny Arbore's Story

There are many parts of life we take for granted. Walking is among them. And it’s an ability Lenny Arbore now appreciates in a whole new way because he’s had to relearn how.

In September 2015, Lenny was in a car accident. It was minor, and he was left a little sore. But nagging back pain had Lenny making regular visits to his chiropractor. Just over a year later, it was suggested he see a neurosurgeon. The diagnosis: herniated disc. With further treatment from the chiropractor, he would be fine.

Not fine, and getting worse, Lenny was referred to James Maxwell, MD at Rochester General Hospital. This time, the diagnosis was much scarier.

An MRI, which Dr. Maxwell fought Lenny’s insurance company to cover, showed Lenny had a benign tumor wrapped around his spinal cord. With the understanding it would be risky, Lenny underwent spinal surgery on Valentine’s Day, 2017.

Dr. Maxwell successfully removed 90 percent of the tumor. The remainder, which wasn’t life-threatening, was left as a safety precaution.

When it was time for rehab, Lenny once again had the backing of Rochester Regional, and at the urging of Dr. Maxwell, chose to work with Dr. Nithyanandini Namassiyaya at Unity Hospital’s Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center.

On February 22, Lenny began an intensive, three-week physical and occupational therapy program. However, it will be at least another year until he’s close to 100 percent functionality. Although the staff’s continuous positive support has fueled his progress, he is incredibly self-motivated.  

“You get what you put in,” Lenny says. “And the staff is absolutely amazing. If these professionals are here to help me, then you better believe I am going to do everything in my power to facilitate my own recovery. I was very fortunate to be cared for by Rochester Regional Health. This place is a diamond in the rough.” He then added that even though doctors tend to get a lot of the credit, the nurses, therapists and technicians associated with his care have been crucial to his recovery.

For Lenny, it’s been a humbling journey and one that has inspired him to give back. When he’s able, he plans to return to the Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center as a volunteer to help others trying to come back from similarly traumatic experiences.

“When life takes a drastic left turn, I can relate,” Lenny says. “I’ve been there. And if I can help one person by sitting with them and talking with them that will begin paying back the care I received.”

Because Care Matters
We hope Lenny’s experience is a rare one in the communities we serve. But in the event someone does need the same kind of care, they should feel confident they will have the same results. To learn how we’re building a better future for community care, please go to or call 585.922.4800.

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