Someone with a spinal cord injury may not initially think that their injury may help in improving the lives of others with similar disabilities. Their main focus, shortly after becoming injured, is overcoming the hurdles of living with a disability. After some time, those individuals realize that their experiences can be beneficial to other with the same injury, as well as medical researchers.
The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund (SCSCIRF) conducts studies to help improve the lives of those with spinal cord injuries. Some studies focus on basic science research to determine if the spinal cord has any chance of repair after an injury. Another emphasis of SCSCIRF is on measuring the quality of life after being injured.
I’ve participated in a few sessions with the research fund. Several years ago, I provided feedback in a quality of life study where I underwent several tests to ensure my spinal cord injury wasn’t causing any secondary conditions. For many people who are wheelchair users, we have to remember to stay physically active and to keep undue pressure from creating sores on our skin.
The spinal cord injury research fund also holds Consumer Advisory Panels to make sure that the target audiences are able understand the research results. I participated in a session a few months ago and we brainstormed ways to prevent unintentional injuries after spinal cord injuries. It’s rewarding that my experiences of living with a spinal cord injury can be used in research projects for others with similar injuries.
If you’re interested in participating in a research project, visit the SCSCIRF website at http://www.scspinalcord.org/sc-spinal-cord-injury-research-fund.php. You may also contact me through the blog if you’re interested in a research study.