Standing up

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

My life changed completely in November 1994 when I became a T8-9 paraplegic as a result of a car accident. I was 3 weeks shy of my 17th birthday. I wouldn’t say the accident was a change for-the-worse, just a change; a re-conceptualization of who I was and who I was to become, living a life from a wheelchair. I have to say that I did everything I could to not let it hold me back. With support from my wonderful family and friends, I continued on with my life. But… in all of these years that have passed (it has been almost 14 years now), I have never stopped thinking, dreaming about the day when a cure for spinal cord injuries would emerge. I want to walk, I want to feel the sand and surf on my feet, I want to be able to play sports again, I want to be able to go to the bathroom normally, I want back everything I lost at the moment of the car accident.

So what have I been doing all of these years to stay positive and prepare myself for the day that a cure may come, you may wonder? Staying active has been the key. Right after my accident I purchased a Power Trainer, which I used in spurts over the years I’ve had it. But I really didn’t seriously start focusing on my health and physical activity until about 4 years ago. I started going to the gym and working with a personal trainer one to two times per week. I started handcycling during the spring, summer, and fall months.And, I was fortunate to find Altimate Medical and their EasyStand 6000 Glider (now theEasyStand Evolv Glider) at the NY Metro Abilities Expo. They allowed me to try it out right there and I was sold!

I received my EasyStand Glider in 2005. One of the biggest changes that I saw from standing, and it was almost immediate, was that the chronic swelling that I had in my ankles went away. I could actually see my ankle bones again! I would stand for about 30 minutes to an hour per time, and I would do this a few times per week. I would love to say that I stand every day, and I wish that I did, but I live a very active lifestyle, work full-time, etc. So when I can stand, I do. I know that it will only help me maintain my range of motion, provide weight bearing through my bones to maintain bone density, and improve my circulation to my legs. And it has proven to eliminate the swelling from my ankles! I feel that standing is one of the best things that I can possibly do to prepare myself for the day a cure may come along!

I have been lucky to keep up on all of this talk about the cure through an organization with which I actively volunteer. I am a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of theBuoniconti Fund. For those of you who are not familiar with the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, it is the fund raising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and there are local chapters across the US. I learned y life changed completely in November 1994 when I became a T8-9 paraplegic as a result of a car accident. I was 3 weeks shy of my 17th birthday. I wouldn’t say the accident was a change for-the-worse, just a change; a re-conceptualization of who I was and who I was to become, living a life from a wheelchair. I have to say that I did everything I could to not let it hold me back. With support from my wonderful family and friends, I continued on with my life. But… in all of these years that have passed (it has been almost 14 years now), I have never stopped thinking, dreaming about the day when a cure for spinal cord injuries would emerge. I want to walk, I want to feel the sand and surf on my feet, I want to be able to play sports again, I want to be able to go to the bathroom normally, I want back everything I lost at the moment of the car accident.

So what have I been doing all of these years to stay positive and prepare myself for the day that a cure may come, you may wonder? Staying active has been the key. Right after my accident I purchased a Power Trainer, which I used in spurts over the years I’ve had it. But I really didn’t seriously start focusing on my health and physical activity until about 4 years ago. I started going to the gym and working with a personal trainer one to two times per week. I started handcycling during the spring, summer, and fall months.And, I was fortunate to find Altimate Medical and their EasyStand 6000 Glider (now theEasyStand Evolv Glider) at the NY Metro Abilities Expo. They allowed me to try it out right there and I was sold!

I received my EasyStand Glider in 2005. One of the biggest changes that I saw from standing, and it was almost immediate, was that the chronic swelling that I had in my ankles went away. I could actually see my ankle bones again! I would stand for about 30 minutes to an hour per time, and I would do this a few times per week. I would love to say that I stand every day, and I wish that I did, but I live a very active lifestyle, work full-time, etc. So when I can stand, I do. I know that it will only help me maintain my range of motion, provide weight bearing through my bones to maintain bone density, and improve my circulation to my legs. And it has proven to eliminate the swelling from my ankles! I feel that standing is one of the best things that I can possibly do to prepare myself for the day a cure may come along!

I have been lucky to keep up on all of this talk about the cure through an organization with which I actively volunteer. I am a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of theBuoniconti Fund. For those of you who are not familiar with the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, it is the fund raising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and there are local chapters across the US. I learned of my local chapter three years ago (it is now in its 5th year of existence), and knew that I had to get involved so that I was helping raise money to find the cure.

I just recently returned home from an amazing trip to the Miami Project in Florida where I attended The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis 2008 Chapters Summit. I was able to tour their state-of-the-art research facility, hear research updates from their renowned physicians and scientists, and finally meet Marc Buoniconti, President of the Buoniconti Fund. It was an extremely enlightening experience, and I have more certainty than ever that I, and everyone else affected by Spinal Cord Injuries, will be walking in the near future. The scientists attested that they are closer than ever to finding ways to improve, and possibly even cure, both acute and chronic spinal cord injuries. The possibility of starting human clinical trials is in sight. What a refreshing, uplifting feeling this was for me! So my drive to stay active, to stand more, and to fundraise even harder has been reinforced, and I am not going to give up on these things until the day when the cure becomes a reality!

The Philadelphia Chapter will be hosting it’s Fifth Annual Raise A Glass For A Cure fundraising event on Thursday, Novermber 20, 2008 at the Diamond Club at Citizen’s Bank Park. For information on attending the event or becoming involved with the Philadelphia Chapter, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities or making donations towards our event, please contact Sally Woolf, Volunteer Regional Director of the Philadelphia Chapter, at (610) 356-3252.of my local chapter three years ago (it is now in its 5th year of existence), and knew that I had to get involved so that I was helping raise money to find the cure.

I just recently returned home from an amazing trip to the Miami Project in Florida where I attended The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis 2008 Chapters Summit. I was able to tour their state-of-the-art research facility, hear research updates from their renowned physicians and scientists, and finally meet Marc Buoniconti, President of the Buoniconti Fund. It was an extremely enlightening experience, and I have more certainty than ever that I, and everyone else affected by Spinal Cord Injuries, will be walking in the near future. The scientists attested that they are closer than ever to finding ways to improve, and possibly even cure, both acute and chronic spinal cord injuries. The possibility of starting human clinical trials is in sight. What a refreshing, uplifting feeling this was for me! So my drive to stay active, to stand more, and to fundraise even harder has been reinforced, and I am not going to give up on these things until the day when the cure becomes a reality!

The Philadelphia Chapter will be hosting it’s Fifth Annual Raise A Glass For A Cure fundraising event on Thursday, Novermber 20, 2008 at the Diamond Club at Citizen’s Bank Park. For information on attending the event or becoming involved with the Philadelphia Chapter, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities or making donations towards our event, please contact Sally Woolf, Volunteer Regional Director of the Philadelphia Chapter, at (610) 356-3252.

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply