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Posts Tagged ‘SCI

Rocking Out For Spinal Cord Injury Research

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by Treadmarkz

The other day I was thumbing through a rack of old LPs at a kiosk on the St. Vital Mall in Winnipeg, and I found a stack of Beatles records that for some reason nobody had snatched up yet. I didn’t waste a moment in deciding to buy the LP version of “Magical Mystery Tour”, “Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl” and “Yesterday…and Today.”

As if this wasn’t enough for a Beatles fanatic like me, I found out after the fact that all proceeds from purchases made at this kiosk were to go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. A little piece of cosmic serendipity, possibly. I wish I could say I bought the records because I wanted to make a benevolent contribution to the Reeve cause, but that is simply not true. But I am glad I bought them.

I am in a wheelchair with a spinal chord related disorder myself so I had a pretty good idea what the Reeve Foundation was about, but I looked into it a little more last night. I am not going to go into the issue of Spinal Cord Injury research too much, but regardless of your opinion on the controversial issue, what they are doing at the Reeve Foundation can only lead to some good coming to those whose lives have been changed to an indefinite degree by their injury.

Take a look at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation by clicking HERE. I’ll be adding it to my blog roll soon.

Good News For Those with Spinal Cord Injuries Who Hope To Walk Again

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by Treadmarkz

Many people living with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries hold out hope that one day they will walk again. For many it is a religious faith that drives them to work toward the day they will leave their chair behind.

The other most promising source of the redemption they hope for is science. I was born with spina bifida, and I personally believe that if I was intended to walk, I would not have been created the way I am to begin with. Though I believe all of the sciences are worthwhile endeavors through which humanity can do great things, I believe that the level of ability which I was born with is one thing that science cannot overpower. I understand how those who were born “able” and were injured may feel differently.

But with all respect to my disabled readers who do strongly believe they can and will walk again, the story linked to here is for you.

If Only Stem Cells Were Hand Grenades

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by Treadmarkz

Is it just me or are a lot of people who are anti-stem cell research also pro-war? Ironic, eh?
To be honest, I am not going to do a rant about stem cell research, because I don’t know enough about it to do so, and I wish others would do the same.

For those of you who do follow the issue closely, please feel free to chime in on the subject. Teach me.

Treadmarkz.WordPress.com Readership Poll

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by Treadmarkz

I have reached a point where I have a fairly decent following here at treadmarkz.wordpress.com, and I want to get to know more about who is reading.

I’d like to start by asking if anyone reading this has spina bifida. If not, what type of disability do you have (if you have one)?

If you do have spina bifida, I am curious about a few things:
1) Can you walk?
2) Have you struggled with math and other technical languages (i.e., computer programming, reading music)

3) Are you allergic to latex/talc?
4) Are you allergic to bananas?

5) Have you ever had a seizure?

These may sound like completely random questions to someone without spina bifida, and maybe even to those who do have spina bifida. But they are all things that I have either been told I will struggle with or have indeed struggled with in my life. Just curious.

Feel free to tell me anything else about yourselves. Married? Kids? Jobs? Interests? What do you think are the most pressing issues for disabled people? Thanks! And remember you can click the link over on the right hand side of your screen to get Treadmarkz delivered to you by email.

Written by treadmarkz

April 2, 2008 at 9:41 AM

A Ghost From Oscars Past

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by Treadmarkz

Last night, I watched the Oscars with my wife. Though there were some good movies nominated, I saw Hillary Swank at one point during the show and it reminded me of 2004, when her film “Million-Dollar Baby” won best picture. I saw that one in the theatre with my wife, and though I don’t really remember my full reaction, I do remember hating the ending.

Let me give you a little background, or skip this paragraph if you’ve seen it. It is about a boxer (Swank) who takes the female ranks by storm, earning a title match. During that match, she is viciously attacked and sustains a broken neck, and is paralyzed from the neck down. The rest of the movie involves her struggle to come to terms with the fact that she is no longer a fully-functional physical being, even though she had made her living with physical activity. When her family comes to take control of her fortune, she realizes that this is the only reason they showed up, so she decides that she has nothing to live for and asks her trainer and close confident (Clint Eastwood) to “end her suffering.” He struggles with this but does fulfill her wish by administering a lethal overdose.
This is very long-story-short, but the film raised a lot of eyebrows in the disabled community in ’04. When we went to see it, I honestly had no idea that this character was going to become disabled. I don’t remember anything about that in the previews. Its often said the movie was marketed as a “Rocky in a sports bra” but with a political agenda.

I am disabled, but I always have been. And as I said in an earlier posting, I can’t begin to imagine what it would feel like to lose those capabilities while you are at your physical peak of youth. And I have heard people say “If I ever became disabled, I’d kill myself.” But I have always had a hard time believing that, if it actually happened, they would still feel the same and kill themselves. I am sure it would cross anyone’s mind, in the situation Swank’s character was in, but Swank’s character seemed optomistic and driven during her boxing days. And it seemed as though she was being shown ways she could make the very best out of the cards she’d been dealt, just before “the end.”

So, first, while admitting that I have not experienced what Swank’s character did, I don’t think this movie reflects reality. I have a friend who was an athlete and stage actress, and a very social person until she was paralyzed from the neck down when she was 16. Since then, she has always been very positive, and she took the “social” part of herself and used it to make the world a better, more hopeful place for people in her situation, by going on a speaking tour about her experience.
Second, does this movie, and the death wish of Swank’s character suggest a low value on life itself? Her limbs didn’t work, and I understand that this would deny a person the freedom they’d enjoyed all their life, but she could still dream, and share her dreams and work with people to make them a reality. She could teach people based on her experiences. And she could still love and be loved (her trainer loved her like a daughter).
In short, I hated this movie.
Just kidding, it presents an argument from one point of view. It’s not mine, but I can appreciate its merits. As a disabled person, though, I hate to see anyone thinking that the loss of limbs is the loss of life, and I don’t like the movie for depicting that attitude so bleakly.