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On With Life's history began with the dream of a dedicated, passionate group of survivors and their families, faced with the challenge of rebuilding lives shattered by brain injury. They envisioned a program that would provide post-acute brain injury rehabilitation services to persons with brain injury after they were medically stable enough to leave the hospital.
On With Life, Inc. was incorporated in 1987 as a not-for-profit organization, named by one of the survivors who stated, "I just want to get on with my life." This courageous group overcame almost insurmountable challenges and their "never give up" attitude eventually paid off. In 1989, one Girl Scout's "rocking chair" marathon project in honor of a school student hit by a drunk driver provided $10,000 initial seed money for "the future On With Life Head Trauma Center". Shortly after this donation, the City of Ankeny made an amazing commitment to On With Life and issued $3.9 million in municipal bonds to build a 25,000 square foot facility.
Groundbreaking occured in August of 1990 and approximately one year later in August of 1991, On With Life's Brain Injury Rehabilitation program opened in Ankeny, Iowa. The $4.3 million-dollar building was specifically designed and built to provide brain injury rehabilitation services.