Adaptive Fashion

Life with a Spinal Cord Injury

Writing & Speaking

My name is Tiffiny Carlson and I’m a disability writer from Minnesota. I also have a C5-6 incomplete spinal cord injury from a diving accident when I was 14. I love writing and sharing disability stories and feel extremely lucky I get to do it for a living.

Ever since getting DVR thanks to my loser ex-boyfriend, I’ve been discovering shows that randomly look not-so-bad, and holy crap am I so glad I added Another Period to my list of recorded shows.

I always knew Natasha Leggero was brilliant ever since her glory days on Reno 911 when she played the pants-less prostitute “Bunny apHenandez,” but as a fan of Downtown Abbey and silently hating the “upstairs world,” this show has been like a cathartic kick in the butt.

The inhumane adventures of Lillian Schmemmerhorn-Fish, her terrible siblings (w/ Rikki Lindholm as her dumb as rocks sister “Beatrice”) her mother and the random sighting of their father are stunningly good. I wasn’t so sure about the show after the first episode, but the pure brilliantness and audacity of the humor (think Blazing Saddles) have won my heart. From the hysterical slo-mo of Natasha/Lillian getting dumped on “Rejects Beach” to the ridiculous “Doggie dinner party” episode, I can’t get enough.

apmenMichael Ian black as “Mr. Peepers” also deserves a shout out. He is probably my favorite male cast member, with “Garfield” (the fired underbutler) played by Armen Weitzman an incredibly close the second. Any scene with these two interacting makes my eyes water. Armen, you are good. And Thomas Lennon, Jack Black and Ben Stiller’s random character appearances (Thomas’ moreso) are worth noting.

And I’m SO happy to hear that this show has been picked up for a second season. Comedy Central, you did right. This type of humor sometimes falls on deaf ears, especially with American audiences, but thank god this show will be continuing.  I can’t wait to see the terrible things the Bellacourts get up to in Season 2, which will be like in a month. <g>

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After our injuries we’re all worried about different things – going back to school, doing things you love again, providing for your family and for many women with spinal cord injuries – will I be able to have children? The answer is a resounding yes, as the renowned Wheelchair Mommy blogger exemplifies.

Priscilla Hedlin is one of the most well-known bloggers for mothers with spinal cord injuries. Priscilla began sharing her story shortly after it happened by starting a Geocities website. She’s officially been blogging on WP in 2008 and her blog covers every aspect of parenting with a spinal cord injury. The depth of information she covers is some of the best out there.

If you’re newly injured and worried about parenting, you can’t get better than The Wheelchair Mommy. Read her journey, from her injury to how she became a blogger, here.

“It’s not too bad, it’s just different.” This is how Andy Hensel from Port Pirie, Australia, one of the world’s most accomplished paraplegic motocross racers, now describes what riding is like. A former top 20 freestyle motocross racer, he’s now making records as a paraplegic, discovering the far reaches of what is still possible as a paralyzed motocross racer.

Injured only a few years ago, this 20-something had already had a difficult past. He went to jail for drug charges for 1 year in his late teens. But after his injury, he knew he had to stay on-track. And within a year, he had already figured out how to return to motocross.

Some might think he’s crazy for returning, but that’s why he’s a SCI Superstar in our book. Andy refuses to let his injury win. Read more

“If you can breath, you can do yoga.” This is one of the awesome quotes Mary-Jo Fetterly likes to share when she’s teaching yoga. A yoga teacher for over 20 years and an adaptive yoga teach for nearly 10, Mary-Jo, of Vancouver, Canada, came upon the world of spinal cord injuries from a skiing accident 10 years ago.

Since her accident, she’s decided to look at her injury as a project in healing, something her background in natural therapeutics could potentially heal. Initially a C4-6 ASI A complete spinal cord injury, Mary-Jo’s techniques have helped her regain use of her arms and even her hands, when doctors were sure it was impossible. Read on for her incredible story

Considered one of the best mountain bike athletes in the world, Martyn Ashton is new to living with a spinal cord injury but his spirit is strong as ever. In 1993 when he was just 19, he sprang on the mountain bike scene, and in later years he became one of the biggest YouTubers doing his long beloved sport.

But in 2013 his story took a turn, and Martyn, while filming a sequel to his all-time popular videos, broke his back. He hasn’t stopped doing what he loves though thanks to his longtime riding buddies. Read more

Lonnie Bissionette is as a stubborn as they come, and we love him for it. The first paraplegic BASE jumper in the world, he is the only paraplegic to BASE jump off of four objects, and the fact that he was paralyzed BASE jumping hasn’t stopped him one bit.

Lonnie is also a pioneer in the brand new sport – para-bobsleigh. He represented Canada earlier this year in the World Cup and made one heck of a showing.

To learn more about this adrenaline junkie who’s also dedicated father and an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation, read on.

A former sit-n-ski water skier with several adapted water ski titles under her belt, Stephany Glassing is one of the few licensed female paraplegic pilots in the country. And that’s not all. She’s also a mother, an artist, former Ms. Wheelchair Georgia 2003 and a lover of monkeys. Yes you heard us right – monkeys.

The recipient of a Capuchin monkey (she requested one to help with depression), she’s become a huge disability service monkey advocate since receiving Tracy, speaking on behalf of the organization that gave her her monkey whenever she can.

To learn more about Stephany, an amazing woman and dedicated single mother who refuses to let her chronic pain win, read on.

A conservative political analyst for the Washington Post and Fox News, Charles Krauthammer is a quadriplegic you’ll never forget. The thing about Charles however is that he doesn’t want you to focus on his quadriplegia, and he’s been amazingly successful in this goal.

Out of the thousands of Charles’ dedicated fans, most don’t even know he uses a wheelchair. It’s not that it’s a secret, it’s just that his opinions and views on American politics are so engaging that they make you forget his disability.

From working as a Harvard-trained psychiatrist to becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist all post-injury, read on for the fascinating story of Charles Krauthammer. Read more

We have many heroes in the spinal cord injury community, notably the rockstar SCI researchers. One of the most promising researchers is Dr. Susan Harkema, Director of the Neurorecovery Network, Rehabilitation Research Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville and the Director of Research at Frazier Rehab Institute.

Dr. Harkema is the researcher who discovered that electrically stimulating the spinal cord can help us move our legs again. Yes, she has one amazing mind. From Katie to the Today Show, she has been featured all over the media and is the leading SCI researcher to know.

But research wasn’t always on her radar. From a career she thought was headed towards athletic training, Michigan-born Harkema was lured to the warmer weather of California where she discovered a passion for spinal cord injury research, and the rest as they say is history.

Read on to see how Dr. Harkema’s determination to find a workable cure may just land her in the history books

After a spinal cord injury, we all find our own way of moving forward, and for Senator Tom Kennedy his way forward was through politics. His hometown mayor recruited him after his injury where he found politics and a sense of purpose; something he was aching for.

But he didn’t decide to run right way, he was just happy to help out, learning and observing, but soon this quad became a State Representative in the House for his home state of Massachusetts, making disability history. Read more

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