Every Wheelchair-User’s Fear: Choking

We’ve covered all different kinds of situations here on our blog, but what about the scary stuff, like choking? A SPINALpedia fan and wife of a quadriplegic recently wrote us about a scary situation recently that happened to her husband.

While home alone, her husband began to choke and at the worse time possible – there was no one around. Fortunately he was able to drink enough water until help arrived, but what if this happens to you? And how can you help someone in a wheelchair who’s choking?

Here are three videos that show how to save someone in a wheelchair who’s choking both quickly and easily, which in a choking situation is a mighty good thing. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Wendy Crawford

When you look at Wendy Crawford, what do you see? A woman in a wheelchair, or something more? A former fashion model turned founder and editor of MOBILEwomen.org, Wendy has been hugely determined to change the way the media sees women with disabilities since her injury.

Above all, Wendy has refused to accept the status quo and her story is something everyone with a spinal cord injury should know. Read on to see how Wendy Crawford has fashioned herself an incredible journey in spite of a spinal cord injury. Read this entry

Spinal Cord Injured & Grilling: How to Stay Safe

Everybody loves tasty grilled food, but for many people with spinal cord injuries, they get too worried about burning themselves and just don’t even bother. Barbecue and paralysis may not be two peas in a pod, but they can coexist safely, and that is the purpose of our end-of-the-summer post.

You don’t have to live in fear of your grill any longer. Our videos will prove you can use your grill without burning yourself. All you need are a few handy tricks, like the right grill to purchase.

In honor of Labor Day, we present you with three of our best barbecue videos. Read this post

Stunner on Wheels: Alexandra Santibanez, Paralyzed Miami Fashion Model

They say getting injured at a younger age makes it easier transition-wise, and Alexandra Santibanez certainly proves this is the case. A fashion model hailing from Miami, Florida and a motivational speaker and advocate for disability awareness, her injury at the age of five has barely slowed her down.

But what we especially love about Alexandra is her sense of style. Not only is she a model, but she went on to receive her bachelor’s in a field perfectly suited for the fashion industry, making sure she’s armed and ready for the future.

Brilliantly smart and the most fashionable woman on four wheels in South Florida, this is the outstanding story of Alexandra Santibanez. Read this entry

Deep Thoughts, from the Wheelchair-User POV

Having a spinal cord injury means thinking about the bigger picture. I’m not saying all of us have copious amounts of free time to wane philosophical, but it comes with a package when you sustain a spinal cord injury.

Is it God’s plan? How do I move past this? How can I be ok with using a wheelchair in public? These are the big questions we SCIers ask ourselves, and it’s not easy finding an answer. Sometimes, there’s no answer to be had, but there is however always a worthwhile, valid opinion from other people out there.

With that said, here are three phenomenal videos from people with SCI and other disabilities sharing their deep thoughts on aspects of living with a disability. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Robb Dunfield

In the lobby of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in Vancouver, Canada, you will find the largest mouth painting ever created- a beautiful 6X8 oil painting called “Visions of Possibilities” (view) – and this beautiful image of two young girls on English Beach was painted by their father and vent-dependent quadriplegic, Robb Dunfield.

Robb, a C3-5 quad from Vancouver as well, is one of Canada’s most accomplished painters. Thrown into the world of painting after a fall from a balcony when he was 19, painting is just one of his outlets. He’s also a pioneer of group homes for people with severe disabilities and a public speaker for the Rick Hansen Foundation.

A man that has been paralyzed for longer than many of us have been alive, this is the story of esteemed artist – Robb Dunfield. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Therese Riedel

You have those that when they say they’re going to do something, they actually do it, and Therese Riedel definitely falls into this category. A rising basketball star who likely would’ve played on the 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic team, she went on to transform her b-ball skills into martial arts skills.

And it doesn’t stop there. Now a teacher of martial arts and returning to school as well, this 24 year old woman refuses to let her injury win. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Travis Roy

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.

SCI Superstar: Barney Miller

You may have heard of disabled surfers before, such as Christian Otter Bailey and Jesse Billauer, but if you’re not familiar with the disability scene in Australia, chances are you’ve never heard of Barney Miller, a quadriplegic surfer who’s been feverishly raising money for spinal cord injury research since his injury.

What’s even more exciting is that Barney’s fundraising has recently gotten a huge boost thanks to an exciting new partnership Barney has signed on for with Red Bull, who’s decided to take on his cause by naming his fundraising goals the main beneficiary of a brand new worldwide marathon.

Also a fiance to one of Australia’s most well-known singer songwriters, read on for the story of Barney Miller. Read this entry

Get Your Walk-On with Gait Training

When it comes to recovering from a spinal cord injury, doctors used to say there was no hope at all. But that is no longer the case, and gait training – the therapy treatment that suspends you in the air and helps you walk – surely proves this point.

Nearly every major rehab spinal cord injury facility now either has gait training or is trying hard to get the program going; that is how beneficial this treatment is. Creating new neural connections, preventing osteoporosis, increasing blood flow and more, the benefits are huge. For a quick look at gait training, read our post.