In 2010, I was a sophomore playing for the Norwood High School varsity hockey team. I had been called up from the JV team in December. We had a game against Weymouth on Saturday, January 23rd. It was a late afternoon game so all of the boys were excited to do something after the game. The plan was to go in, do our job, get the win and all hang out after. When the game started, we realized that we were pretty outmatched.
“Two women and a dog named Milo hit the road, camera in hand, in search of answers to bring us closer to finding a cure for paralysis.” These are the words that Kelsey Peterson and Madeline Brown use to describe their project, The Cure Map, to inspire people to take action in support of curing paralysis.
David Hill is a huge Florida Gator football fan, a loving son, and an irrepressible optimist. He is also a survivor of a C4/C5 spinal cord injury (SCI) that left him a quadriplegic. Yet, despite losing the use of his arms and legs, he hasn’t given up. Every day, he maintains a routine to get as much exercise as he can with the help of both professional caretakers and his family.
The Bennifers and Brangelinas of the world pale in the adorableness of Team Buck, the nick name Lauren and Ryan Buck call themselves. And they really are a team, as the last nine years have melded them into a solid unit that can withstand anything, including paralysis and several failed attempts at In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
If you don’t know Todd Krieg, he’s the man from the “It Still Works” photo that went viral a little while back. The pregnancy announcement photo, which was featured in numerous publications such as People, USA Today, and Us Weekly, features Todd and his fiancé, Amanda Diesen, in front of a brick wall with the phrase “It Still Works!” written in chalk.
In 2009, it was found that the most common ages for spinal cord injuries range between 16 and 30. However, no matter what age the person is when the injury happens, an SCI causes a life to change significantly. It is understandable that this will bring about feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, and helplessness when it comes to the future. When such a thing happens to someone so young, how are we supposed to continue to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
As much as friends and family may try to relate, the aftermath of a spinal cord injury is something that only those who are living through can truly understand. Yet, following the emergence of such a severe medical condition, you may find yourself craving some way of seeing your struggle reflected back to you. There’s a real sense of community among those who have grappled with spinal cord injuries, and thankfully, many patients who are currently facing the very same questions that you are now have opened their hearts and fired up their computers to document their journeys.
A chip implanted into the brain of a spinal cord injury survivor now enables him to play Guitar Hero. The future is now when it comes to spinal cord injury research. With new breakthroughs every year, it’s possible we may see a cure for spinal cord injuries in the next few decades.
For Ian Burkhart, an implanted chip has proven life-changing. The same might one day be the case for many more SCI survivors.
For patients suffering from paralysis, hope may often seem dim, but for children facing some form of paralysis, the physical and emotional toll of the condition can weigh even heavier. No matter the cause of the resulting trauma, paralysis in children requires special attention and care to keep these young patients firmly on the road toward recovery.
Scientists have begun using stem cell injections to treat those who have been paralyzed in accidents resulting in a spinal cord injury. In March 2016, Kristopher Boesen (Kris) was in a car accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. After the accident, Kris had difficulty breathing on his own due to his injuries and was told he may never be able to regain control of his limbs again.
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