Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are among the most deadly that someone can sustain. The severity and location of the injury on the spinal cord determine its impact — the higher the damage, the more severe and deadly it is likely to be. For example, a cervical spinal cord injury is more life-threatening than a lumbar SCI, although both are life-altering injuries.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are estimated to be between 247,000 and 358,000 people living with SCIs living in the United States. There are estimated to be approximately 17,700 new cases occurring each year — a number that does not include individuals who die at the location of the incident that resulted in the SCI.
With all of this in mind, U.S. Senate Resolution 533 recognizes the month of September 2018 as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. This resolution is a follow-up to S.Res. 211, which has celebrated each September in the same way since 2013 to call attention to the severity of spinal cord injuries and the ongoing need for research to find a cure.
However, in addition to the U.S. Senate dedicating the month to awareness about this particular issue, other things can be done to help raise awareness about spinal cord injuries during this spinal cord injury month.
How to Raise Awareness During Spinal Cord Injury Month
Wear a Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Ribbon
As with most awareness campaigns and efforts, spinal cord injury awareness also has its own ribbon color. The spinal cord injury ribbon color is lime green, sharing the same color as several other health conditions, including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Lyme disease, and lymphoma. Wearing a vibrant green ribbon can help to spur people to ask questions because they may inquire about the ribbon color meaning, enabling you to educate and share information to expand their awareness of spinal cord injuries.
Raise Funds for Research and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Efforts
Another great way to help increase awareness throughout spinal cord injury month is to start an online fundraiser or crowdfunding campaign. You have likely seen other people sharing links to pages on websites link GoFundMe.com, Fundly.com, Classy.org, Fundrazr.com, and Capterra.com.
The idea is to create a public site where family members, friends, and even random strangers can come across your page to gain awareness of your cause and, ideally, donate to support it. You can share this message about spinal cord injury month across all of your social media pages and ask friends and family members to do the same.
Host a Community Event or Distribute SCI Educational Materials
There are many community events that people get involved with to raise awareness of diseases and other health-related conditions such as spinal cord injuries. These include community festivals, races, 5K walks, charity auctions, and more. Some individuals even choose to hold free public educational events, such as seminars at local libraries, community centers, or college campuses.
These educational events can cover a variety of topics, including:
- What spinal cord injuries entail and how they affect the human body;
- The emotional impact of these injuries on the lives of survivors and their families;
- The financial cost of these injuries and what legal options SCI survivors and their families have available;
- The current state of SCI research, including stem cell research, spinal cord regeneration and more; and
- How SCIs impact a survivor’s ability to make a living.
Create a List of Resources for SCI Survivors and Their Families
While it’s essential to help raise spinal cord injury awareness among members of the community, it’s also vital to help increase SCI awareness within the SCI community itself. In this case, awareness can include a variety of resources for spinal cord injury patients such as lists of local and national organizations that can provide emotional and financial assistance as well as information about spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injury month is the perfect time to try to help raise awareness of the importance of spinal cord injuries and the ongoing need for research. To learn more about spinal cord injuries for yourself or to access a resource to help others learn more about them, be sure to download our complimentary guide by clicking on the link below.
Written by Spinal Cord TeamSpinalCord.com has been created as a resource for patients of spinal cord injuries and their families. Find everything you need to learn more about your injury, locate a doctor or treatment center, or discover financial relief to support you through this difficult time.
See what Swope, Rodante Has Done for Others With Catastrophic Injuries
“What made me most excited was to be able to help my family, being able to pull the burden out of them that they’ve been struggling with. That’s what made me feel the best. Everything else to come, is to come. And we’re going to live life how we have been, just not going to have to worry about buying the supplies that I need.”
"As I got better, which I did in the future, I think I remember researching them [Swope, Rodante P.A.] myself and found that they are very good at what they do. "