The Bucket List to Independence

As a young adult with a spinal cord injury, I’m nervously anxious to make the next move toward independence. For me and others with spinal cord injuries, we hope to be able live on our own without being too dependent on family members. It’s important that our relationships with family members should be more than personal care attendants.

I’ve been looking into attendant care to help with bathing and dressing. The cost of attendant care can be expensive. Many agencies pay by the hour and a few will accept insurance. Some companies only will receive private pay. Grants are available for veterans of the military. However, there aren’t many funding sources that will specifically pay for attendant care for those with spinal cord injuries.

Once I’m in my wheelchair, I’m fairly self-sufficient. I can maneuver around the house and enter and exit the home without any problems. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome was learning how to drive. Now that I’ve accomplished that goal, I’m looking forward to accomplishing another goal on my bucket list toward independence.

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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6 Responses to The Bucket List to Independence

  1. Katrinda McQueen says:

    Alex, I have never seen you with a challenge that you could not meet. I am looking forward to meeting your new attendant… if anyone can make it happen, you will! You have taught us all the power of setting a goal and working at it until it is realized.


  2. So, what’s next on your bucket list? 🙂


  3. When I lived in NH, Granite State Independent Living paid for this through Medicaid. In SC, there is about a ten year ‘wait’ with HASCI. Not right! The University of Amherst had dorms with student nurses living in them to assist the students who needed attendants. I would love to see you living independently! You will!


  4. Monika Weiss says:

    Hi Alex,
    I’ve been enjoying reading your blog for the last few weeks. This latest post reminded me of a story I wrote about the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. They opened new dorms in 2010 with the main floor made up of accessible rooms for severely disabled college kids. It was-and maybe still is-the first of its kind. Along with housing comes 6 hours of daily PA scheduling that each students sorts out on their own. It is often the first time in their lives that they organize their own care schedule. So not only are they getting an education which will hopefully lead to a future career, but they are learning how to become independent, much as all the other kids on their campus are. It really is a fantastic program. I am leaving the link to the story in case you would like to read it:
    All the best to you (& I look forward to more of your posts),
    Monika Weiss


    • Hi, Monika! Your article is amazing. It’s amazing to see all of the accessible features at UIUC, including the dorm, attendant care and the athletic program. I would hope this model of inclusion could be more widespread around the country. Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading my blog!


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