Even though he’s only 30 years old, Rob Wudlick’s journey since his spinal cord injury has been one-of-the kind. A fresh SCI research advocate, newly injured people like Rob are refusing to accept spinal cord injuries as permanent, and what they’re doing to help the SCI community is helping in big ways.

Other than working out since his injury using activity-based therapy (and being one of the most positive guys in the gym), he’s a founding member and Chairman of the Board for a nonprofit dedicated to curing spinal cord injury, Get Up Stand Up (GUSU), and is busy hitting the pavement at Capitol Hill (in his home state or in DC) whenever he can. Read on for a snapshot into the life of an unexpected advocate. Read the rest

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

He may have grown up a country boy, but Wes Bandemer is no longer living the simple country life. This is former motocross racer has transformed into a passionate advocate for embryonic stem cells, having traveled to India twice. And the moment he has regained is huge.

But it hasn’t been an easy road. Wes had to work hard to find funding and still relies on a wheelchair and PCAs everyday. His dream of becoming 100% independent may still yet have to come to fruition, but he has big hopes it may one day happen.

For more on a quadriplegic who refuses to put a timeline on his recovery, this is the effervescently optimistic Wes Bandemer. Read this entry

A pioneer in the field of mind-controlled prosthetics, Jan Scheuermann, 55, is a quadriplegic on a mission to make the world a better place. She volunteered to be part of a groundbreaking research project to get people with paralysis to move prosthetic limbs using their minds, and she’s been making international news in the process.

Jan’s journey without question is one for the history books, and even though the research she’s taking part in is poised to help millions, it likely will never be able to directly improve her own life. And she’s totally ok with that.

Jan’s main hope is that the research leads to big time discoveries to truly help people with spinal cord injuries be more independent. Read on for her truly selfless and fascinating story. Read this entry

Considered by many as the Christopher Reeve of Sweden, Claes Hulting since his injury has dedicated his life to promoting enhanced rehabilitation and research of spinal cord injuries. And what he’s created, Spinalis, a cutting edge rehab facility in Sweden, is admired around the globe.

Being the founder of an amazing foundation is just one thing Claes is known for too. He’s also a physician (he worked as an anesthesiologist before his injury) and is in the history books for being the first person with a spinal cord injury to have a child via in-vitro fertilization (a son who’s now turning 18!).

To learn more about a man who can be credited for helping thousands of people with spinal cord injuries live healthier and fuller lives, this is the story of Claes hulting. Read this entry

One of the most well-known people with spinal cord injuries in Canada, Barbara Turnbull has been living life as a quadriplegic for over 30 years. Her injury garnered national attention due to its severe nature – a random convenience store shooting – but what she’s done with her life since that crazy day is why she’s a true SCI superstar.

A longtime journalist for the Toronto Star, a two-time book author and a tireless advocate for improved public accessibility and spinal cord injury research, Barbara’s resume is one of the most impressive you’ll find among any high level quadriplegic. Her injury has driven her to greater things, and she’s used her power wisely.

For a sneak peek at how a strong-willed Canadian woman overcomes insurmountable circumstances, this is the story of Barbara Turnbull. Read this entry

The “mad scientist” of adapted technology, Mark Felling, Engineer, Patented Inventor and Founder of adapted gear profferer Broadened Horizons, is a quadriplegic on a mission.

Ever since crashing his experimental plane a decade ago, he’s been determined to use his engineering skills to make his life, and other’s like his, easier.

Several life-changing technologies for people with disabilities have been invented by Mark, and he continues to create more each year, all to empower people with disabilities.

From a powered tenodesis hand splint he calls the “Power Grip” to some of the best adapted video game equipment ever made, this is the story of Mark Felling, the man who never stops dreaming. Read this entry

Everyone has an opinion on dating, but not everyone has one when it comes to the wheelchair side of things. Most people, let’s be honest, don’t even think about wheelchair-users in the realm of dating, but the truth is that many of us want to date or are currently dating. We too are in need of dating advice.

Fortunately there are a handful of wheelchair-users who love doling it out. They may not be as plentiful as the Dr. Ruth’s of this world, but they’re out there and they’re recording their advice just for you; and w00t, they’ve made some amazing videos.

Straight from the heart advice coming right at ya, here are three unforgettable videos from wheelchair-users on the sticky topic of wheelchair dating. Read this post

A product of the die-hard hockey world in the northeast U.S., Travis Roy grew up loving hockey, and after he became paralyzed while playing hockey for Boston University, he’s been committed to doing everything possible to not only improve his situation, but the situation of others like him.

He’s put on many hats to make his reality. Travis founded a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injury (as well as raise money to support people living with a spinal cord injury), he’s written a memoir, he’s become a mouth painter and he’s gone on to become a popular motivational speaker.

For a peek into the life of someone who inspires big time, read on for the impressive story of Travis Roy.

When it comes to one of the brightest SCI Superstars we could profile, you can’t get more significant or note-worthy – heck this guy will have a chapter on him in history books one day – than Lex Frieden.

One of the architects of the ADA and a big time policy-maker, Lex Frieden is dedicated to helping people with SCI and other disabilities live as independently as possible. A college professor, husband and a dog-lover too, read on to learn about one of the most important figures in American disability history. Read this entry

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