There are over 400,000 people in this country living with spinal cord injuries. They range in age from children to adults. This injury can happen to anyone, at any age. I can only speak of having this injury as a once very active teenager. I believe that unless you are a close family member or close friend of someone with a spinal cord injury, it is difficult to understand what life is like for them. I don’t think most people understand what it is like to cope with the tremendous losses; the loss of the use of your body, the loss of living a normal active life, the loss of some friends. They don’t understand the depression and anger of having no control over your body and life. I am never alone. I have nursing care 24/7. Nothing about me or my life is personal anymore.
I think most people are afraid of the unknown. If people could gain more knowledge about spinal cord injuries, I think they would be more understanding and not be so afraid to talk to the person with the injury. When I go out in public I feel like people are afraid to approach me and talk to me. If they would they might meet a new friend. I think most people would be happy and willing to share their stories of living with this injury. I know I would.
Before my accident when I thought of someone with a spinal cord injury, I automatically thought of Christopher Reeve. I thought of his steps of achievement, his opportunities, and his hope for the world of spinal cord injured people. There is some research that’s gone on to help cure this common injury; however we have a long way to go.