Finding Our Way

In the months immediately following my son’s injury, I spent many agonizing hours in hospital waiting rooms.  In the rehabilitation ward, those rooms were stocked with literature that I didn’t want to read about the realities of life with a spinal cord injury.  The intentions were good; I just wasn’t ready.

One article, however, sticks in my memory and proved to be prophetic.  The author wrote that suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury is a death of sorts; survivors are reborn into a new body and must once again progress physically and emotionally through the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence to adulthood.  This journey, in his opinion, could take from 3-5 years, and I daresay that many of us would agree that it takes that long to get one’s life back.

The SCI community suffered an enormous emotional injury with the death of Christopher Reeve in  2004.  Reeve was the first highly visible advocate to say the words “cure” and “spinal cord injury” in the same breath.  He pulled the rest of us along with his hope and determination.  Suddenly he was gone, and we found ourselves drifting about, trying to figure out who and how to go forward.

Reeve’s death, in a very real sense, gave birth to Unite 2 Fight Paralysis.  Over the past 5 years we, too, have traveled the growth continuum as we define and refine how we can best serve our community.  If ever there was a condition that drains one’s physical, financial and emotional resources, it would be spinal cord injury; individual and family needs are constant and endless.  How best to respond?

Numerous organizations doing extremely good work serve a variety of needs in our community, and when a new player comes on board it’s important to identify a unique and achievable mission.  Over the last 5 years our strategies may have changed, but our vision remains constant: U2FP will fight to the finish for curative therapies.  That’s how we started, and that’s where we’re going.

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