September is Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Month. Injuries can occur from a variety of reasons including motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and falls. According to the United Spinal Association, there are approximately 200,000 people who have SCI in the United States.
It’s said that someone becomes injured with this disability every 48 seconds. Many organizations, including the Christopher Reeve Foundation and The Miami Project are working to find better therapies, treatments, and, ultimately, a cure for the disability.
On a more local level, I’ve been a peer advocate for the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association. It’s exciting to be able to speak to people who are newly injured and show them that they can live a fulfilling life with a spinal cord injury.
I have also had the opportunity to work with the Longevity After Injury Project at MUSC this summer. The Project is conducting several longitudinal studies to see how an injury affects the overall wellbeing of an individual. Some of the studies observe the effects of SCI related to bone density and exercise. Other research projects look at how the injury affects a person’s ability to create relationships with family members and friends.
There are a number of organizations providing information and resources about SCI. Please visit the links above and help us promote awareness about SCI.