Introduce yourself!

CommunityAdminCommunityAdmin Posts: 9Administrator Reeve Staff
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We would love to get to know you. Please tell us who you are. 
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  • prc_Bethprc_Beth Posts: 1Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
    First Comment
    Hi! I'm Beth and I'm a part of the Information Specialist Team with the Paralysis Resource Center.
  • jaarchjaarch Posts: 10Moderator Moderator
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    Hi! I'm Joe. After a successful 27 years in the Navy, life threw me a curve ball and I was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident about seven years ago. I am a peer mentor with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and I am a moderator on this forum. I love to tinker and design new ways to adapt my new lifestyle to the rest of the world. 
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 13Moderator Moderator
    5 Awesomes 5 Likes First Answer Name Dropper

    My name is Garrison Redd and I am a Motivational Speaker, model, athlete/Paralympian, entrepreneur, and most of all an advocate for equal rights. I founded an organization called “TheGarrisonReddProject” with an essential goal of bettering the well-being of disabled individuals through a variety of methods. I provide free resources and services in the areas of advice, motivation, inspiration, health, and many other areas in order to improve the quality of living for disabled individuals.

    I played various sports growing up such as boxing, basketball, baseball, and football. In football, I was a standout running back from youth football up until high school. I received various awards and accolades.

    Going into my senior year at James Madison High School, I was outside on an ordinary summer night, when I was shot in my back. The bullet burned the nerves surrounding the t12 section of my spine, which left me unable to walk. Instead of feeling sorry for myself or depressed, I decided to triumph through the face of adversity. Most people would’ve felt that their life was coming to an end however, I felt like my life was just beginning. At 17 years old after this catastrophic injury had occurred to me, I wasn’t discouraged, because it made me into a different man. It made me think about the bigger picture. It made me think that maybe I was put here to inspire everyone from the youth to the elderly, which I am now on a journey to achieve.

    Fast forward to present time, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from York College. I am currently training for team USA para powerlifting with aspirations of winning a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I am a seasoned motivational speaker and I did a Ted Talk which is titled “Life is like Lemonade”, where I discuss some of the adversities I faced on my journey to success.  I founded a nonprofit organization called TheGarrisonReddProject with a mission to raise awareness for disabled individuals along with promoting self-confidence.

    TheGarrisonReddProject provides individuals with assistance in the community, the workplace, transportation, education and any other issues individuals may be experiencing. We also host fundraisers and charitable events to provide accessible equipment to individuals who are unable to afford certain items which will improve their quality of life such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and plenty other medical devices. TheGarrisonReddProject provides motivational and inspirational speeches to everyone on a variety of topics. Ultimately TheGarrisonReddProject has one goal in mind and that is “to make to this world more inclusive”.

    Thegarrisonreddproject.org

    instagram @bigmoneyygee

    Facebook garrison Redd

  • deniseg1959deniseg1959 Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    Hi!  I'm the mom of a 23 year old son who was injured 9/10/17, so we are still very new to the SCI life and have soooo many questions about it all.  He is a C7, T5/6 injury and is medically a quad.  He has use of his arms, but limited use of his left hand (about 20%) and about 80% use of his right hand.  He was extremely active pre-injury, and had gotten into weight lifting and hiking.  He now does nothing but read and watch podcasts.  I can't get him out of the house except for 3 days a week at the gym.  He has basically quit living outside of the room we made for him by converting our carport.  I am desperate for him to connect with others, and yet I know he has to want it himself.  He wants to be independent, but doesn't really work at it (like I think he should).  I didn't realize that this website could be a source of help for me so I'm excited about exploring the website and seeing all that it has to offer.  The wonderful ladies of WAGS of SCI have been helpful, even though I'm a mom and not a wife or girlfriend :)
  • KLDKLD Posts: 1Member
    Photogenic First Comment
    edited February 13
    Hello! I am a retired SCI clinical nurse specialist. I worked in a VA SCI Center for 28 years, and a previous 11 years in a large private sector rehabilitation center. I also am a moderator for the CareCure website, which I have done since 1997. Although I am retired, I still like to connect with the SCI/D community, and also serve on the United Spinal Association Medical Advisory Panel.
  • kdeetonkdeeton Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    Hi!  I am the oldest sister of a 62 year old brother who was injured on 10/11/17 when helping friends evacuate from a historical fire in Northern California.  My brother was standing on the side of the road and got hit by a fire truck.  He spent almost a year in the hospital and is now a quadriplegic.  I am doing everything I can to learn as much about his injury and help him adjust to his new life.  Everything I learn I share with the rest of my family (and, of course, my brother).  I am excited to be a part of this website.  Just knowing there are so many resources out there to tap into helps lessen the stress and anxiety my family is going through.
  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 3Member
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
    Hi, I’m Sterling and I am currently in my senior year of college. My freshman year I was on scholarship to play football and that is when I severed my c5-c6 vertebrae whilst making a tackle. That was in 2012, since then I took online classes while focusing on rehab. I just returned to campus spring of 2019 to finish up the remainder of my business administration degree. 

    After being diagnosed with quadriplegia I have made it a part of my life to remain physically active and be an advocate for SCI. I was a part of a wheelchair basketball team that won the national championship in 2016 and I founded an organization called Push Push Pray to assists individuals with catastrophic spinal cord injuries. 

    I look forward to sharing what I know and also learning what I don’t to help improve the quality of life for all!
  • alexwoodsfamilyalexwoodsfamily Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    Hi I have a 47 year old son who was hit by car on12/5/2014 n left a quad with tbi. He is currently in a nursing home about an hour from us. I am hoping to learn more about coping with his condition. He is totally angry n refuses almost everything that can help him  He spent almost year at VA facility b4 coming home. The accident was him trying to help multiple crash victim n being hit by car n landing block away on face.  Look forward to learning more about coping n possible help for him.  I am excited to be a part of this community. 
  • RobinbratRobinbrat Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    Hi. My name is Robin. I was paralyzed from a car wreck in 2004. I finished my degree, worked and stayed very active since I became a paraplegic. I did not receive rehabilitation after my accident and therefore like to help newly paralyzed individuals any way I can.
  • JanFreemanJanFreeman Posts: 2Member
    First Comment
    Hi!  I'm the mom of a 23 year old son who was injured 9/10/17, so we are still very new to the SCI life and have soooo many questions about it all.  He is a C7, T5/6 injury and is medically a quad.  He has use of his arms, but limited use of his left hand (about 20%) and about 80% use of his right hand.  He was extremely active pre-injury, and had gotten into weight lifting and hiking.  He now does nothing but read and watch podcasts.  I can't get him out of the house except for 3 days a week at the gym.  He has basically quit living outside of the room we made for him by converting our carport.  I am desperate for him to connect with others, and yet I know he has to want it himself.  He wants to be independent, but doesn't really work at it (like I think he should).  I didn't realize that this website could be a source of help for me so I'm excited about exploring the website and seeing all that it has to offer.  The wonderful ladies of WAGS of SCI have been helpful, even though I'm a mom and not a wife or girlfriend :)

  • JanFreemanJanFreeman Posts: 2Member
    First Comment
    I, too, am a Mom of a quadriplegic (who is also on a ventilator) and I wish there was a forum for us, not just for wives and girlfriends.  My son, age 34, lives with me and I work and also run the business of his seven caregivers as he must have care 24/7.  As a single, working  Mom, there are many issues; and he certainly has had to become the "man in my life" with his constant care issues.   I just wish the parents could have a forum; there seems to be support for siblings, wives, and girlfriends, but not for parents who are Caregivers.  Is anyone else interested in this?
  • cjaydeepcjaydeep Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    I am a newly paralyzed paraplegic please share your thoughts if I can get disability benefits?
  • dave_carverdave_carver Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    https://haslam.utk.edu/sites/default/files/Haslam-Winter2019.pdf?fbclid=IwAR189gK66lZuStAdqtt06Ci6HiINFArExrDZqqC58Plns74sQCO0yTlIbNE Hi.  I am 5.5 years post injury (c4 incomplete). I spent 12 weeks in Kessler west Orange for inpatient rehab and have continued to spend time there (rehab, clinical trials, aftercare) ever since.  I also have a personal trainer at my local YMCA who makes a big difference in my day.  For the past 2 summers, I've been part of the empowersci camp at stony brook university on Long Island; an experience I cannot recommend highly enough as it was great for both my wife (who enjoyed a well deserved break) and I.  My alumni magazine recently did a feature on us which provides additional information on my story.  Glad to help anyone with any questions. Thanks 
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 13Moderator Moderator
    5 Awesomes 5 Likes First Answer Name Dropper
    @Crucker I really enjoyed reading your last blog
  • IrinaCarmenIrinaCarmen Posts: 2Member
    Photogenic First Comment
    Hi! I’m Irina, I’m from Romania (you can call it The Land of Nowhere) and I am engaged to a wonderful man who happens to be a C5 quad. To us, The CDRF has always been a huge source of info since our biggest struggle is, in my opinion, living here, where the information and resources are very limited - as well as accessibility or healthcare. However, we try to make the most of what we have! 🧡
    “Be brave. Be open-minded. Be kind. Be forgiving. Be generous. Be optimistic. Be grateful for the many unexpected lessons you will learn. Find the joy inside the hardship. It’s there. I assure you. And, too, be opened to inspiration from unlikely sources.” - D.R.
  • CruckerCrucker Posts: 7Moderator Moderator
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    Thanks, Garrisonredd. Appreciate it.
  • davidkdavidk Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
      Hi!  I’m Dave.  Unlike the other members of this group, I have a spinal cord disease, multiple sclerosis.  I was diagnosed in 1986.  I’ve gone through a range of walking aids from a cane through various wheelchairs.  I currently use a tilting powerchair.
       So, I believe I have some things in common with the members of this group.  I’m interested in hearing everyone’s experiences.
  • WillRigbyWillRigby Posts: 1Member
    First Comment Photogenic
    Hello all. My name is Will. I sustained a C6/C7 incomplete spinal cord injury almost five years ago, just before my 40th birthday. My injury occurred when I dove into our swimming pool and hit my head on the wall before resurfacing.

    I've come a long way since my injury, overcome many obstacles and have achieved many milestones. I currently volunteer as a Reeve Certified Peer Mentor for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, but I want to do much more.

    Since my injury, my one month in ICU and three months at inpatient rehab, I have gone through rehab at home, outpatient rehab, a three-month program at a neuro- specific gym called REACT. I drive myself, I travel with my wife and two boys (ages 6 and 10). I have gone back to work a couple of times, but I'm currently unemployed and looking for a job that will fit my new lifestyle.

    I hope to bring to the group anything I can from what I've gained through my experiences. I also hope to learn from others. More specifically, I'd love to learn of others' experiences as it pertains to professional career, public speaking, blogging, etc.

    Though I feel like I've made great strides throughout my country over the past 4 1/2 years, I also know I have a long way to go.

  • brigittemcbrigittemc Posts: 11Member
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    My name is Brigitte McCarthy and my husband is a C7 quad after a bicycling accident in July 2017.  He did his rehab at Shepherd Center in Atlanta and resumed working full-time in January 2018.  
    As his primary care giver, I have many questions and am looking forward to participating in this forum.

  • FROYDELAPENAFROYDELAPENA Posts: 3Member
    First Comment Photogenic

    Injury or relation: Spinal cord injury, T11 due to a gun-shot wound when I was 16 years old (1984).

    Hobbies/Interests: Playing Chess, competing in poker tournaments, traveling to places I’ve never been before, participating in family-related activities, learning things, boating, jet skiing, snowmobiling, target shooting, motorcycling, kayaking, horseback riding. I am also into anything related to the power of the human mind (e.g. personal growth & development) and power of the human touch (e.g. reiki and massage).

    Why did you become a peer mentor? I became a peer mentor because I know what’s it like to live in this world with a disability, and to deal with other people who have a lack of empathy and compassion. I understand what’s it like to lose yourself and to feel worthless and a burden to others. I can relate to people who are losing hope as I, myself, tried to commit suicide. I can also relate to family members and friends of people with a disability because I’ve seen my entire family and friends impacted as well because of how my life has changed since my injury.

    I also volunteer overseas (mainly Philippines - online and in person) helping my fellow PWD (People With Disabilities) improve their lives through public speaking and mentoring.

    Facebook Account - I have been inactive on social media since January 2018 but still active on Facebook Messenger.

    Christopher Reeves Foundation - I'm also one of the Peer Mentor for Christopher Reeve Foundation.

  • jlubinjlubin Posts: 4Member
    First Comment Photogenic
    Hi, I'm Jim Lubin. I've been a C2 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe since I was 21 coming on 30 years now. I woke up with a pain in my shoulder. About an hour later the pain intensified and I suddenly could not stand then stopped breathing. I was resuscitated and taken to the hospital. Long story short, after two weeks I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, acute idiopathic transverse myelitis.

    New Mobility magazine selected me as their 1998 Person of the Year for the support groups and websites I started back then. In 2008, The Transverse Myelitis Association established the James T Lubin Fellowship in Rare Neuroimmunologic Disorders to honor me for volunteer work I do for those in that community. In 2011, I was one of the people featured in the Reeve Foundation video "Hands-Free Computing".

  • kellyclambkellyclamb Posts: 1Member
    First Comment
    Hello All!

    I’m Kelly Lamb and the girlfriend to Jon David. He is a C5/C6 incomplete quad of 6 years. We live in Little Rock, AR. I got involved with the Reeve Foundation 5 years ago when I started running marathons and fundraising for them. And they have become our amazing extended family! 
  • bbynum11bbynum11 Posts: 1Member
    First Comment Photogenic
    edited February 14
    Hello all☺...My name is Brandon and I've been a T4 complete for 20 yeras. I fell off a 50ft ledge at my 5 year class reunion. I've been active for many years but most days I sit in bed and watch tv. I had a bad reaction to an antibiotic called Gentamicin that killed the cells in my inner ears and now I stay dizzy. This happened  New Years Eve  (of the new year 2019...so it's not even been 2 months yet). So on top of being paralyzed I'm constantly dizzy😠..I'm like a pinball bouncing off the walls when I go down the hall..HAHA. I have a healthy sense of humor and stay happy 99% of the time. Please feel free to message me of you want to chat. 
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