Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Life after a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be tough.  Having to deal with the change of being able to move and feel everything to all of a sudden not, is the most frustrating, challenging, and difficult part of a SCI.  I’ve learned over the years how to cope with my spinal cord injury and the different abilities that I am able to do.  I’m lucky to be so positive about my situation.  The reason I choose to be, is because I couldn’t imagine going through life being mad or sad about what happened.  It is what it is and I choose to deal with it the best that I can for my own sanity. 

As hard as it is I know that by working through the challenges and overcoming each obstacle that comes my way is another victory towards a better quality of life for me.  If I can keep that momentum going and those thoughts in my mind, I know for fact I can accomplish anything.  My goal is to teach what I’ve learned to others; to share my story so that maybe I can help those in need of a little inspiration in their life to keep going no matter what comes their way.  One thing that helps me along with others is the different organizations working to improve the quality of life of people with SCI’s.  They also want to help show others what life is like with a SCI so that they can understand a little bit more about what one goes through when they suffer an injury like mine.

The biggest organization that I’ve found whom is taking on this task is the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association.  Taken from their website: “The Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association (MNSCIA) is committed to enriching the lives of people in Minnesota who have been impacted by spinal cord injury or paralysis. Our members include people who have incurred paralysis or disability due to a spinal cord injury, their families and friends, healthcare and rehabilitation professionals, policy makers, and corporations.

The MNSCIA strives to provide education, advocacy, and networking to our membership.”

On Saturday, they hosted a lunch called “Authentic Answers to Unspoken Questions”.  The session was intended for attendees of a weekend conference to meet someone with a spinal cord injury outside of the medical environment.  It was a conversation over lunch complete with answers to questions that continue to remain unspoken among the current field.

Last week they asked me to be a part of it.  Including me, there were a total of six people with spinal cord injuries.  Each person with a SCI sat at table for lunch with medical professionals attending the conference.  I was at a table with five people (two were respiratory therapists from Gillette); there was also another guy named Sean, who had a spinal cord injury as well. It was a great way to connect and talk with people about my injury and recovery.  I was asked a lot of questions about rehab and what it takes for me to live on a daily basis living with a SCI.

This is the group of people hosting the event, along with the others with SCI's.  Most of them are part of the Board of Directors for MNSCIA.

I’m glad I was able to attend and shed some light on what I as well as others with SCI’s go through.  It was also a great way for medical professionals to see what it’s like for someone after they leave the hospital and go about their life however they are able.  I look forward to doing more with MNSCIA in the future.

Check out their website at www.mnscia.org and sign up for free membership with MNSCIA. 



-Nido Qubein
"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."

-William James


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