For engineer Matt Bellina, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., riding the perfect wave was a group mission.
More than 15 friends gathered on Florida’s Cocoa Beach on a Saturday morning this summer. Their task? Get 40-year-old Bellina back into the water surfing.
It wasn’t easy. On Memorial Day, 2014, the Bellina broke his neck, as he slid head-first down a water slide and into an inflatable wall. Bellina broke his C4 vertebra and damaged his high-cervical nerve. He’s one of an estimated 17,000 Americans each year who suffer a spinal cord injury and live. Bellina can’t walk, and has limited arm movement. Continue Reading »
Diving into a pool or lake during summer activities may land you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life; over 800 people per year suffer a spinal cord injury from diving in head first. These injuries are preventable—just remember to always go in feet first when entering pools, ponds, lakes, and the ocean.
Perhaps you didn’t see a sign warning you of danger. Maybe you didn’t know that the “No Diving” sign meant the water was too shallow. Or you thought the water was deep enough because it had been the last time you dove in. But 1000 other people thought that too and ended up with broken necks, paralysis, or even worse, didn’t make it through the injury. Continue Reading »
On 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 »
The state must lead the efforts to rehabilitate and integrate the physically challenged in society
Imagine being robbed of the ability to move your hands and of having to depend on a wheelchair or crutches, and in the worst-case scenario, of being bed-ridden for the rest of your life. Then think of what it would take for you to lead a dignified, fulfilling and inspirational life. Every year, thousands of people with a spinal cord injury are compelled to face this in reality due to manmade accidents or natural disasters. A spinal cord injury blocks communication between the brain and the rest of the body, partially or completely paralysing the body’s whole host of muscular and nerve functions. Continue Reading »