Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day (SCIAD), an annual event that promotes awareness of individuals who have experienced the devastating effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI), is taking place on Friday 15 May. The day underlines the physical and mental struggles people go through after they sustain an SCI and highlights the resilience of those who have been able to live fulfilling lives following a spinal cord injury.
The Stewarts Foundation supports several charities that focus on the rehabilitation of people with SCIs. The effects can be physical, mental, social, sexual and vocational. And the Covid-19 pandemic is adding another layer of complexity to their lives.
As part of SCIAD, several spinal injury charities are asking the community to share inspiring stories and give advice on how people with an SCI can keep active.
Spinal injury stories
The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Back Up, two charities the Foundation has supported for a number of years, have teamed up to produce a series of case studies demonstrating the resilience of individuals who have overcome a spinal cord injury. You can view their inspiring stories here.
Abigail Lock, CEO of Back Up, commented on Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day:
“Spinal cord injury can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. After injury, people can feel isolated and alone. Support from peers positively influences adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury and is vital in restoring confidence and independence. In this uncertain time, we can all learn from each other. Please join us and use today as an opportunity to raise awareness, share experiences, and show that you can have a full life after spinal cord injury.”
Life beyond injury
Many of our clients have inspiring stories of their lives beyond injury.
Grace McGowan was just 22 years old when she was involved in a car accident that left her in a wheelchair for life. In 2019, Grace walked down the aisle at her wedding with the help of an exoskeleton. You can read Grace’s story here.
IB was 16 years old and had just completed her GCSEs when she sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident. IB was able to return to college a year after her accident. After finishing her course, she travelled around Europe and passed her driving test to help her gain further independence. You can read IB’s story here.
More stories can be found on our Life Beyond Injury page, and we hope you can take inspiration from them on this important awareness day. Each story shows that there is life beyond injury.
Keeping active with spinal injury
Wheelpower, another organisation that the Foundation supports, is the national charity of wheelchair sport. It provides opportunities for disabled people to play sport and lead healthy, active lives.
Staying active and healthy has never been more important, or more challenging for wheelchair users. Wheelpower is encouraging wheelchair users to stay active during the lockdown.
Paul Rushton, Head of Fundraising at Wheelpower, commented:
“Everyone has been encouraged to stay physically active during the coronavirus pandemic, but this isn’t easy for wheelchair users. Normally they’d keep fit by going to the gym, swimming or playing a sport like wheelchair basketball. But now that they are social distancing, or maybe even staying at home for at least 12 weeks because they are in the highest risk groups, they need something else to do. We wanted to help disabled people keep active, so we’ve released two yoga films.”
Wheelpower have a range of exercise videos to support wheelchair users to lead active healthy lives including Adaptive Yoga with Nina Class 1, Adaptive Yoga with Nina Class 2 and Circuit exercise workouts with Ella Beaumont. Click here to view more exercises
With the right support, people who have a spinal cord injury can overcome adversity and continue to lead full and active lives.
More life beyond injury stories
We have teamed up with other clients who have catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
To read more about the Stewarts Foundation, please click here.