Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness (SCI) Month?

A few months ago I had the pleasure of recording a podcast with Reveca Torres (listen here).

Reveca is a C5 quadriplegic who was injured in a car accident while on vacation at the age of 13. In 2009, Reveca founded BACKBONES. BACKBONES exists to provide one-on-one support for individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and their families. They’re making connections to others with a similar injury and interests via telephone, in-person, or web to encourage sharing of experiences and ideas.

BACKBONES also hosts fun, dynamic events that get people with and without SCI together for support, education, awareness and a good time! For example they have held fashion shows, wine tastings, 5Ks and more. In honor of Awareness Month BACKBONES has designed a Scavenger Hunt in two cities (Portland, OR and Chicago, IL)….

Locomotor a waste of time?

Maybe I’ve been paralyzed too long, but there are a bunch of new therapy programs out there that I question.

Let me preemptively say that locomotor training has a lot of great benefits (it’s good for weight-bearing, making your muscles move, organ-hanging party time).  It’s a pretty intense therapy where they strap you into a harness (that’s attached to a bar above your head) and hang you above a treadmill. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Jesse Billauer

The ocean can be a dangerous place. Sharks, big waves with multiple personalities, fugly Man o’ Wars, but you don’t have to tell Jesse Billauer this. He’s a born and bred Cali boy who came out of the womb with a surfboard attached to the hip.

Jesse, at 17, was living the semi-charmed life of a California teenager – young, athletic, gorgeous (still is) and staged to be one of the next big surfers; it was an idyllic life. But his world turned upside down in 1996 when the crest of a wave threw him off his surfboard.

Jesse hit his head on a sandbar and became a C5-6 quadriplegic on impact. Despite a severed spinal cord, which can be a tough SCI blow to receive, Jesse wasn’t about to say adios to a rock star life. If anything, his energy for life has only become more pronounced. Read the rest of this entry

12/28/11: Podcast 81 – Jennifer Longdon, an advocate with heart

In episode #81 of No Free Rides, Tiffiny is joined by Jennifer Longdon, a fighter of a paraplegic who’s taking on everything from accessible realty and passe attitudes to disabilities to bringing diversity to Project Runway.

3/28/11: Podcast #72 – Coping and dating with quad Shawn Dean

In episode #72 of No Free Rides, Tiffiny talks with lawyer and single and looking quadriplegic, Shawn R. Dean. They discuss the nuances of coping with a life-changing injury, and Tiffiny tries to persuade Shawn to try a dating site.

10/12/10: SCI newbie receives first injection in historic FDA-approved embryonic stem cell study

This time has finally come. An undisclosed newly-injured complete paraplegic has been injected with hESCs (human embryonic stem cells) in the USA’s first FDA approved (yet privately funded) treatment using hESCs. Will it work? Of course it will. The real question is when can I (and you) get the treatment.