Stephen Purcell, Co-CEO
Stephen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Tulane University in 2012, followed by a Master of Finance from Tulane in 2013. As a Division I varsity football player and captain of Tulane Lacrosse, Stephen was on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Dean's List annually and he was a member of the Tulane Athletics 3.0 club, Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity, and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. After then working as an intern for the Walt Disney World Corporation and earning a certificate in marketing strategy, he completed his research of studying sickle cell anemia patients and the effect stress within them has on telomere length in human DNA in the BANGL Lab in New Orleans. He is currently completing his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and has published his research in the Orthopedic Surgery Department.
For years, Stephen participated in the “Green Dream Initiative” where he visited Tulane Hospital for Children to spend time with the patients in the hematology/oncology department. He was so inspired by the kids battling disease that he continued to shadow the section chief of the department and spend time with the kids three times a week for years. After seeing the potential to lift these kids’ spirits as they drew pictures of their beloved New Orleans Saints’ team logo, he organized a day for his Tulane former teammates and fellow New Orleans Saints players to visit terminally ill sickle cell patients to take pictures with them, sign autographs, and support them during their time of need.
From swimming across the Hudson River in New York City to raise funds for leukemia & lymphoma to building houses in the 9th Ward that were destroyed from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to volunteering at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in New Orleans to volunteering with the Crescent City Soccer Program as a coach for underprivileged children in New Orleans, community service has been fundamental to Stephen. As Co-CEO, Stephen takes initiative to not only raise funds for these incredible athletes to receive personal exoskeletons, but he has made it his goal to spread the individual stories of each inspirational candidate as well as educate the world about this incredible technology available.
Brandon Purcell, Co-CEO
Brandon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with a specialization in Consulting from Tulane University in 2017. As a Division I varsity football player, he was on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, as well as Dean’s List annually. Furthermore, he was the Community Service Chair on the Student Athlete Advisory Counsel, in which he helped organized various events such as Shadow-A-Student-Athlete Day. As a student-athlete, Brandon was 1 of 200 athletes selected by the NCAA to represent his university at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Indianapolis. While at this conference, Brandon was commended by many NCAA executives for his community outreach work.
While at Tulane, Brandon received a scholarship for being a Community Service Scholar. Approximately 15 incoming students are selected out of thousands of applicants each year for having devoted exceptional time and effort to serving their communities and who plan to continue this dedication as members of the Tulane and New Orleans communities. He organized a trip in which his Tulane Football teammate and fellow New Orleans Saints players visited terminally ill sickle cell patients to take pictures with them, sign autographs, and support hem during their time of need. Additionally, he was a founding member of Tulane’s Delta Sigma Pi chapter and served as both Treasurer and Vice-President of Community Service.
Whether it was raising money for Tulane’s Devon Walker through selling T-shirts and wristbands to volunteering at Boys & Girls Club NFL Yet and spending time with underprivileged children, community service has been an integral part of Brandon’s life. Tulane’s President Fitz personally recognized Brandon for his service to those in the Tulane and New Orleans community by rewarding him The Leaders in Service: Top Public Service Award. This award recognizes students who have committed their Tulane University career to improving the community around them. Whether through student leadership or volunteerism, the students recognized have shown dedication in their commitment to the New Orleans Community and beyond.
Devon Gales, Director of Advocacy
My name is Devon Gales, I am a 23 year old native of Louisiana. Growing up I had a passion for playing football. I started off by playing flag football at the age of 5. By the age of 6 I was playing tackle football for the Scotlandville Hornets, I continued to play on this team until I started playing football for my middle in 7th grade. After middle school I went to Central High School in Baton Rouge, I played as a wide receiver and by my junior year I was playing on the varsity level. After carrying this passion for sports with me throughout many years I decided that I wanted to make this into a career.
When choosing a college, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and was determined to play for Southern University where I went to school for Therapeutic Recreation. Coming in as a walk-on it was a challenge and I had to prove that I would be a good addition to the team. After working a year to prove myself I began playing on special teams my sophomore year. Becoming a part of the team felt like a dream come true. I finally accomplished what I've been working towards my whole life while playing football.
On September 26, 2015 of my sophomore year I got a chance to play against Georgia Bulldogs. Coming from a HBCU, playing against a SEC team was a chance to get more recognition. The recognition that I thought I would receive came in a way that I would never imagine. I went on the field at Sanford Stadium playing with the same devotion that I've played with in any other game. I attempted to make a block and upon impact I broke my neck. Laying on the field and not being able to move my body when I tried to felt unreal. Little did I know from this moment on my life as I knew it was changed forever.
Throughout suffering from this injury I was surrounded by nothing but love. My friends at Walk Again Athletic Warriors were just some of the few have who have made it their mission to help me out through this journey. When Stephen and Brandon reached out and expressed to me how they wanted me to be an advocate for this Charity, I felt blessed to be able to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. I am honored to be a part of the team and to help others that are facing the same challenges that I have had to face.
Gail Lewis, Treasurer
Gail Lewis received her B.A. degree in education and economics. After receiving her Master's degree in special education, she went on to earn a post-graduate degree in accounting and finance. She has worked for numerous firms as an accountant and she has been a partner in an investment group. She was also a high school mathematics and chemistry teacher for students with special needs for over 15 years. Throughout her career, she has been involved in various organizations working with children with delayed mental development, psychiatric disorders, and cerebral palsy, including the Special Olympics. She has been the subjects of numerous articles concerning her work with children with special needs, in The New York Times, NY Post, New York Daily News, in addition to being the subject for a cover story for the Long Island Press. Furthermore, she has been featured on television on the NBC and CBS news in New York.
Having an unending commitment to the well-being of children, she played an integral role in the public relations campaign that successfully led to the construction of a Childrens Hospital in New York. In addition, for over a decade, she pursued philanthropic activities on behalf of Phelps Memorial Hospital in New York. She has also participated in philanthropic endeavors on behalf of Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Gail's experience with other charitable efforts form the foundation for her goal to expand the footprint of this charity. As treasurer of this charity she is utilizing her lifetime of business experience to provide financial help to this charity as it seeks to help the health of paralyzed athletes around us.
Ralph Purcell, MD, Secretary/Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Ralph Purcell is a nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and hand surgeon practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has been awarded the honor of being voted to the Castle Connolly Top Doctor Honor Roll, having been consistently recognized as a Top Orthopedic Surgeon in New York. He has also been honored as a Top Orthopedic Surgeon in US News & World Report. Dr. Purcell has, furthermore, been a national lecturer on varied aspects of orthopedic surgery, hand surgery, and medical-legal orthopedic surgery.
His training spans general surgery residency at Harvard (Beth Israel Hospital), orthopedic surgery residency at Columbia University (New York Orthopedic Hospital), and hand surgery fellowship training at New York University. Following his training, he pursued a multifaceted career as an Attending in Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University's Department of Orthopedic Surgery, the Director of Hand Surgery at Helen Hayes Hospital (an affiliate hospital of Columbia University), and a community-based practitioner of orthopedic and hand surgery. In addition, he has served as a Board Member of the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, helping to promote a stimulating, educational environment for physicians with a shared passion for better understanding and treating neural pathology.
As Secretary and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Purcell is providing his expertise in orthopedic surgery to interface with both the robotic exoskeleton industry and the healthcare providers of the recipients of this charity in order to promote the ability of paralyzed athletes to walk again.
- Stephen Purcell, Co-Chairmen
- Brandon Purcell, Co-Chairmen
- Gail Lewis
- Ralph Purcell