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The house that love built: Kurt Drysdale Comes Home

Published: August 1, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

A young man rendered a quadriplegic by a freak footy accident now has a house designed to meet his every need thanks to the generosity of friends, the community, and the audience of A Current Affair.

Kurt Drysdale was just 20 when he injured his spine in a wayward tackle during a weekend rugby league match.

He was left unable to breathe on his own and without most of his movement, and faced spending the rest of his life in hospital or care.

However, his family was determined to bring him home. Continue Reading »

Injured Olympian defies doctors to walk for his wedding

Published: July 9, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

On good days, American high jumper Jamie Nieto can shuffle 130 steps without a cane or walker.

It’s an important distance — about the length from the altar to the church door. His vow: Make it all the way, under his own power, when he’s married on July 22.

The two-time Olympian is recovering from a spinal cord injury he suffered on a misjudged backflip in April 2016. The accident initially left him with no feeling in his hands and feet. Walking? Doctors couldn’t predict if he would take more than a few steps — or any at all. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic Drives 2016 Corvette Z06 — Jay Leno’s Garage

Published: July 8, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Driving with a disability can be a huge accomplishment, whether it is an amputation or something more severe. In Sam Schmidt’s case, it couldn’t get more severe. In 2001 Sam was paralyzed when his race car went backwards into the wall at 210 mph. Sam’s doctors were thinking he may not live the year but Sam defied the odds and currently lives life as a quadriplegic. Continue Reading »

Toyota robot helps Army ranger paralyzed in Afghanistan

Published: July 3, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

For the first time, Toyota has tested its in-home robot in the United States. Continue Reading »

Sam Schmidt hopes foundation leaves ultimate legacy

Published: May 31, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

When Sam Schmidt began to prepare his remarks for his Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, he struggled.

The race car driver and owner knows it’s his accomplishments on the track that qualified him for the honor, but that’s not the only legacy he’s hoping to leave. At least not since his crash on Jan. 6, 2000, at Walt Disney World Speedway that rendered him a quadriplegic.

“I really feel longer term, what I hope to be known for is more what’s happened after my injury,” Schmidt said. “The whole idea of overcoming adversity and moving on. I wouldn’t wish this injury on anybody, but I truly feel now, 17 years later, that I have helped thousands more people than I ever could have being a race car driver.” Continue Reading »

Schmidt, Andretti trade barbs on eve of semi-autonomous car showdown

Published: May 12, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — They stared each other down with seemingly serious intentions, two racers sounding like boxers as they engaged in playful trash talk and measured each other.

“Just take it easy on me,” said Sam Schmidt, the quadriplegic in a wheelchair.

“Just take it easy on me,” said Mario Andretti, the 77-year-old Hall of Fame legend with 52 career Indy car wins, including the 1969 Indianapolis 500. “We might not be friends after tomorrow.” Continue Reading »

Why I Don’t Let Adversity Define My Life After Spinal Cord Injury

Published: April 23, 2017 | Category: Information | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

I love lacing up my turquoise Nike running shoes each morning.

However, every time I leave my house, going for a jog is the furthest thing from my mind as the door closes behind me. In fact, I will go out of my way to avoid a set of stairs like it’s the plague. And if I get somewhere and the elevator is out of order, well let’s just say it can sour my mood quicker than a cold cup of coffee.

In spite of all this, I certainly don’t consider myself to be an individual in possession of an indolent nature. Actually, I’m more productive than most people I know. I just don’t use my feet right now. Continue Reading »

Kindness, courage help quadriplegic two years after devastating accident

Published: April 16, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

Todd Duitsman has made extraordinary progress since he suffered spinal-cord injuries while body surfing at Big Beach on Maui in 2014. And with unfailing grace and good humor, he inspires others.

EVERETT — With a weightlifter’s grimace, Todd Duitsman focused on exercising his arms. Like most everyone else using the Marysville Family YMCA’s fitness equipment, he was hard at work.

But Duitsman isn’t like everyone else. The Stanwood man is a quadriplegic. Continue Reading »

Sam Schmidt to receive nation’s first license to drive semi-autonomous car

Published: September 23, 2016 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

sam-schmidtSam Schmidt’s first victory as an Indy Racing League driver was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1999.

Paralyzed from the neck down since 2000, Schmidt is in line for a different type of victory at the speedway Wednesday, when he will become the first person in the nation to receive a restricted driver’s license for a semi-autonomous vehicle, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Using only the motions of his head, his breath and voice commands, Schmidt will demonstrate his new driving abilities with a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 that was modified by Arrow Electronics. Continue Reading »

Sabrina Cohen Foundation to open accessible beach in Florida

Published: June 28, 2016 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Sabrina Cohen Foundation accessible beachOn July 2, the Sabrina Cohen Foundation will be opening an accessible beach to the public, funded by grants from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for all citizens of Miami Beach to come and enjoy. Sabrina Cohen, CEO & Founder, created the Foundation in 2006 a few years after sustaining a C3-5 level injury in a car accident at the age of 14. Originally she focused on funding research and educating the public, but then saw the array of needs she could help fill with her organization.

“Recognizing a need for quality-of-life initiatives, in 2012, I expanded the mission of my organization to include more adaptive fitness and recreational opportunities for our disabled community, realizing that a lot could be done to meet an unmet need of helping people stay both mentally and physically strong,” Sabrina said. Continue Reading »