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Surfer finds freedom in California

Published: August 25, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Jay Liesener, Team Surfgimp conquer more than just West Coast waves

With sunburnt cheeks and scabbed-over nose, Jay Liesener’s face tells it all. His recent trip to surf California’s southern coast was a success.

That’s a good sunburn, said Liesener with his head-wide smile as his wife, Melanie, helped him get out of their van.

Liesener is a quadriplegic and adaptive surfer who lives in Milton. When Gazette readers last saw him, it was days after a crowd-funding effort had raised more than $15,000 to send him and his team, Team Surfgimp, on a bucket-list-checking surfing trip to southern California. Continue Reading »

A Year Ago He Was Paralyzed From the Neck Down — Then This Happened

Published: August 24, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

You might feel a bit down if you watch the news. Who wouldn’t?

Angry people might be grabbing headlines and making you wonder about the future, but the antidote is all around you.

Talk to some of your neighbors. Chances are, no matter what they look like or where they’re originally from, you’ll find they’re actually pretty decent people — just like you.

The little improvements we all try to make may not register much, but the accumulation of them all eventually does. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic author: ‘I will be out of this chair one day’

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

The story he wanted to tell was several decades in the making, so it’s easy to see why David Rippy took two-and-a-half years to compose his memoir.

That it centered on the impact that a one-car crash which left him paralyzed from the shoulders down had on his life – both for good and for bad – makes that accomplishment amazing, though.

“I took two summers off to write. It’s hard to stay indoors and work when it’s nice out,” said Rippy of the process that brought about “Captain of My Soul: Mastering a Destiny Altered.” Continue Reading »

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 »

Washing Hands – How To | Quadriplegic (C5,C6,C7)

Published: July 6, 2017 | Category: Information | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

Washing hands after experiencing a Spinal Cord Injury is an important role in preventing UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections). 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 »

United Spinal’s “Roll on Capitol Hill” to Advocate for Policies that Strengthen Health and Independence for Wheelchair Users

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

Richard Bagby of Richmond, Virginia to Represent Disability Community

NEW YORK, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United Spinal Association’s 6th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill, June 11-14 in Washington, D.C., will host Richard Bagby, former collegiate athlete and deputy director of the organization’s Virginia chapter, along with other prominent disability advocates to speak directly with legislators on issues that affect the independence and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D).

Bagby will be attending Roll on Capitol Hill to urge his state representatives to support legislation that helps people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) become productive members of society. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic Children’s Author Talks Stories, Setbacks and Success at Evergreen Elementary

Published: April 29, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Frank and Mustard Simon Calcavecchia, 34, of Olympia, visited Evergreen Elementary School April 7 to talk to students about his books, his music and his disability.

He is the author of a children’s book series called “The Adventures of Frank and Mustard” and has also recorded a collection of hip-hop songs about his characters.

Addressing a room full of first-graders, Calcavecchia started by saying, “I want to tell you what you’re all probably curious about, which is why I am using this wheelchair.” Continue Reading »

Memoirs of a Body – A Short Documentary

Published: April 10, 2017 | Category: Information | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

A short documentary called Memoirs of a Body, which takes a unique look at how we physically embody our sense of self through the life of Josh “Staff” Marshbanks. Continue Reading »