Recent Blog Posts
- Keep Fighting Eric!
- What does Google Trends tell us about Spinal Cord Injury?
- Join the Cure Warriors - Great U2FP video
- 2011 Chicago Marathon Summary
- The Patient: The Person at the Center of My Care
- Study Shows US Health Care System Fails to Meet Needs of those with Spinal Cord Injury
- Budget Cuts Reduce Disabled Transit
- New Jersey State to Cut Spinal Cord Injury Research Funds
- Recent Study on US Health Care System Performance
- Good Article on Making Babies After SCI
Shout out to all my followers, love you guys couldn't go through this battle without your support— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 18, 2013
What does Google Trends tell us about “spinal cord injury”? The results are actually quite disturbing for anyone that would like to see a more aggressive search for a cure. Google users searched for “spinal cord injury” more than ever before or after in October 2004 when Superman, Christopher Reeve, passed away due to complications from his high cervical spinal cord injury (M in chart). It then was in October 2004 that our movement lost its most recognizable face, and our most passionate advocate for a cure. Since then, as technical traders say about a stock chart, the trend is from the “upper left to the lower right.” People are searching less and less for the term “spinal cord injury”. This data clearly reveals a trend that people are less interested in spinal cord injury. In fact, the most recent data reveals that people are searching for spinal cord injury 68% less than in October 2004. Why is this happening? There are probably many reasons. Anyone with a vested interest in seeking a cure for this condition should try their hardest to reverse this trend. Less people concerned with spinal cord injury means less government money going to research, less charitable dollars raised, and less public support for disabled issues like accessibility, equal employment or health care.
SCIS raised the bar again in the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 33 athletes, including 3 wheelchair racers, a recovering SCI victim, friends, families, newbies, and old hats raised nearly $100,000 on a magnificent fall day in Chicago. Tireless fundraising and the generosity of friends, families, colleagues and employers defied the strained economic situation to make 2011 an outstanding success. The impressive totals and participation renewed our drive to cure SCI and alleviate the suffering of so many. Check out the video, pictures, and athletes below.
A few raceday photos:
In October, I will be running the Chicago marathon. I'm not a runner, but was inspired by my friend, Richard, to join the SCIS (Spinal Cord Injury Sucks) team and commit to raise money for spinal cord injury cure research, as well as awareness of the devastation that spinal cord injuries can cause.
Unfortunately, I am running not only in honor of Richard, but in memory of him, as Richard passed from complications of quadriplegia last February.
I was part of the care team who got to know Richard during the months he spent at OU Medical center following a spinal cord injury which left him paralysed from the chest down. He shared with me the things he loved before his injury, how he lived an active and full life while teaching others to do the same.
I’d like to share with you this short story about Richard and what may be learned from the patient who is at the center of our care.
Doctors and researchers have achieved encouraging results in restoring movement and sensory feeling to SCI victims. Using electrical stimulation and intensive physical therapy, a team of scientists from the University of Louisville, UCLA and CalTech have given hope to the millions of SCI victims worldwide. This type of research can have profound results for the SCI community in helping sufferers regain some of what they’ve lost. Supporting organizations like SCIS is a direct and effective way to advance these gains.
Rob Summers, 25, suffered a complete C7/T1 injury in 2006 and although he retained some feeling below the injury site, he lost all control over movement. He volunteered for a study investigating locomotion therapy and electrical stimulation that had previously only been show to restore function in animals. He dedicated himself to 26 months of rigorous physical therapy, strapping himself in a treadmill with a harness and to simulate an assisted walking motion. Summers then underwent surgery to implant 16 electrodes along his spinal cord. Since the surgery, Summers has been able to stand up on his own using hand supports. He can remain standing, bearing his own weight for up to four minutes at a stretch, and take steps on a treadmill with assistance. Watch the extraordinary process:
Summers walking again
“This procedure has completely changed my life,” said Mr. Summers. “For someone who for four years was unable to even move a toe, to have the freedom and ability to stand on my own is the most amazing feeling. To be able to pick up my foot and step down again was unbelievable, but beyond all of that my sense of well-being has changed. My physique and muscle tone have improved greatly, so much that most people don't even believe I am paralyzed. I believe that epidural stimulation will get me out of this chair." Summers is also able to voluntarily move his hips, ankles and toes, has gotten back some bladder and sexual function.
SCIS funds medical research and clinical trials like epidermal stimulation and rehabilitation therapies to restore function in chronic sufferers. For more information on the SCIS research initiatives, click here.
The electrode stimulation research was supported by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. SCIS volunteers and members have supported the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. See the full Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation article: click here
After 25 years and over $245 million raised, Canadian Rick Hansen isn't stopping in his pursuit to find a cure for spinal cord injury and to improve accessibility worldwide.
Hansen carried one of Olympic torches at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, and marked the 25th anniversary of a two-year, 34 country "Man In Motion World Tour" that raised $26 million towards a cure. In November, Hansen set out on another two-year, four country push for cooperation in finding a cure and establishing standards for accessibility internationally. In between trips, Hansen's self-named foundation raised over $200 million.
Doctors removed Rutger's tackle Eric LeGrand from the ventilator five weeks after suffering a devastating spinal cord injury on October 16th, 2010 in a game against Army. LeGrand, 20, was immediately diagnosed as paralyzed from the neck down with an injury to his C3 and C4 vertebrae. Doctors reclassified the injury as incomplete from complete five weeks later, meaning there is some function below the injury site (Rutger's LeGrand update page). The incident shed light on the outlook for spinal cord injury victims, and ways to prevent them in sports.
LeGrand in his last game
The surrounding football community held out hope for LeGrand's recovery as doctors explained the grim reality of spinal cord injuries. As late as five days after the injury, Rutgers' head coach Greg Schiano was confident LeGrand would walk again. Rutgers teammates placed "believe" stickers on their helmets, hoping for miracle. Doctors and medical experts explained with every passing minute, the prognosis grew bleaker. From the ESPN article (Full Article):
Dr. Roy Vingan, a neurosurgeon with the North Jersey Brain and Spine Group, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that there is set time to determine the extent of a spinal cord injury.
From his personal experience, however, Vingan said spinal cord patients who exhibit no evidence of neurological function below the area of injury within 24 to 72 hours do not make a significant recovery. He said there have been one or two exceptions in the time he has practiced, but the number is very low.
The SCIS team made the 2010 Chicago Marathon fundraiser a huge success. 45 team members weathered the 87 degree heat to cover 26.2 miles in front of 1.7 million spectators. Many completed the marathon for the first time, others set personal bests. Everyone had a reason to run. Some ran with something to prove physically, others to improve their fitness, some to remember or in honor of somebody.
All 45 dedicated their efforts to raise money in support of curing spinal cord injury. Their friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers helped SCIS raise over $105,000 - a phenomenal figure. Each athlete worked hard to raise money and the effort paid off. 2010 was SCIS's best year on record.
100% of the money will go to critical research advancing curative therapies for spinal cord injury. The remarkable support for SCIS this year shows more people are aware of the need and willing to back it up with dollars. SCIS is grateful for the support.
Check out some of the photos below, See All
Living Healthy Chicago on WGN/CLTV profiles SCIS's founding and contribution at the 2010 Chicago marathon. Watch: