Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"If we can send people to the moon, we can find a cure for paralysis"

I came across this blog post today. I thought others might find it interesting. Here are some memorable quotes:

"People living with spinal cord injuries are a silent minority," said Southard. "There are hundreds of thousands of us in this country, but there's no exact count anywhere. That's how invisible we are. We need to make our voices heard. We need people to understand how important a cure is and how close we are to finding it."
"Only recently could I feel water again," said Southard. "I can't express what that feels like. I don't have the words to describe it. It has to be really cold water, but, still, I can feel it."
"I haven't taken it off since the moment I put it on three months ago," said Qirici, whose younger brother suffered a spinal cord injury 16 years ago while doing gymnastics on the beach. "When someone you love suffers an injury like this, it ties you to all others who suffer the same. It brings you all into the same category."

Southard's mother Julie agrees with Qirici's sentiment that a special connection exists between those who understand a certain type of injury or illness.

"My bracelet - it's really a bond," said Julie Southard. "[When I see others wearing one] I feel like I'm joined in a quiet battle with other people who understand."

It's crazy how that was all written back in 2005 (when I was about to graduate high school), and there has been little progress since then. People with SCI's really are a silent minority. Why has there not been much progress? Spinal cord injury isn't as glamorous as fighting for a cure for cancer or AIDS. However, it's something that affects our lives on a daily basis in literally everything we do. The chronic physical, psychological, and social pain that some experience often leads to depression and even suicide. It not only affects the injured, but everyone around them.

Do I dare also add that the "big money folks" are also slowing progression of finding a cure? Why would the gargantuan medical field (lobbyists, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, supply companies, physicians, nurses, therapists, neuropsychologists, etc) want a cure when SO much money is being made by keeping us this way? Why teach a man to fish when they can keep coming back to you to buy more fish?

If you would like to purchase a bracelet to raise awareness and raise money for additional research in finding a cure, here's the link:


  1. Interesting. I went to the link you had about the movie Avatar and one guy was making the point that he didn't like the movie since it made it seem like SCI sufferers needed/wanted/yearned for a cure... and that instead it's something they have/know/live with and just want acceptance from the public about that. I kinda agree more with your post above, but I can imagine that there is a difference of opinion among SCI, eh?

  2. Well, everyone *wants* a cure. It's just that some people *need* a cure while others don't.

    Some have accepted the injury as part of their lives and learned to live with it. It is almost offensive when others (specifically non-injured people) are so concerned with a cure... because it's almost like they are implying that there is something inherently wrong with being spinal cord injured and in a chair.