2008 has been a year marred by injuries to horses and people riding them.
When I see a rider go down, it reminds me of the accident that paralyzed and ultimately killed Christopher Reeve.
Like Rock Hudson for AIDS and Lou Gehrig for ALS, Reeve put a famous and courageous face on an ailment. Because of Reeve, money and resources have been devoted to possible cures for spinal cord injuries.
I work with lesser-known people who benefited from the attention that Christopher Reeve brought to spinal injuries. These aren’t famous movie stars. They are people hit by a truck or who fell on a slippery floor.
In February, Marcela DeVivo took her baby son to the Dominican Republic and paid $30,000 to have him injected with blood stem cells from aborted fetuses.
Nathan, who turns 2 next month, was born with the hemispheres of his brain fused. He is physically and mentally handicapped.
DeVivo is among a growing number of Americans spending up to $75,000 in the hope that clinics in developing countries have realized the dream of regenerative medicine: using stem cells to fix the so-far unfixable. Continue Reading »
O’FALLON, Mo. — The Flowmaster American Drag Racing League (ADRL) presented by the National Guard has donated $60,000 worth of tickets for its July 25-26 national event at Maryland International Raceway (MIR) to the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. The ICSCI created the world’s first program focusing on spinal-cord injuries in children and offers hope for children and adults experiencing disorders of paralysis, regardless of how long ago the injury occurred.
All sale proceeds from the 2,000 donated tickets will benefit the ICSCI, which is associated with Johns Hopkins Hospital, recently named number one for the 18th consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of best American hospitals. Continue Reading »
Film star Christopher Reeve was best known for playing Superman until he was paralysed from the neck down after a riding accident in 1995. He then became a tireless campaigner for the disabled, raising millions for research.
He survived ten years of near total immobility but died of complications in 2004, aged 52. His wife, Dana, 44, died unexpectedly of cancer in March 2006, leaving their son Will, then 13, an orphan. A new book tells their remarkable story.
They Will Surf Again event set for Long Branch oceanfront June 22
LONG BRANCH – Life does not stop when someone suffers a spinal cord injury. This is the message of an upcoming event to show that an injury is just the beginning of a new and more challenging journey.
To celebrate those who have injured their spinal cords, the Life Rolls On Foundation is hosting “They Will Surf Again” (TWSA) on the Long Branch shore for several injured surfers to get back in the water again.
“The event is about embracing what’s possible,” said Joe Levy, coordinator for the event. “Spinal cord injuries don’t hold people back. They push people forward.
Editor’s note: Paralysis after a spinal cord injury brings wrenching decisions: Do you accept it as permanent and adapt, or do you refuse to resign yourself? John and Marci Pou took the latter course after his accident, embarking on an arduous quest for Rehabilitation, recounted in a three-part serial narrative. Part I tells how the couple chose to gamble on a different kind of therapy. First of three parts.
It was only a chair, but it had become his purgatory.
Each day that John Pou spent in the wheelchair, his spirit seemed to die a little more. It was a perpetual reminder of the calamity that had brought him and Marci, even the kids, to this place. Continue Reading »