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Archive for the ‘SCI Research’ Category

This past Wednesday, doctors, researchers and scientists came together in Albany, New York to discuss “Progress in Spinal Cord Injury Research – The NYS Program: Past and Future.” I was not able to attend, so if anyone reading this did, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Also, if you know of a link to any information on the event, please let me know.

Many Push to Walk clients travel to our Riverdale, NJ center from all parts of New York: New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the lower Hudson Valley area. For a time, we even had a client traveling all the way from Albany once every two weeks! So we are very interested in what goes on in New York, and try to stay abreast of any developments.

From what I understand, the purpose of the conference was to present current information on research and treatments, while trying to convince the NY legislators to reinstate the funding stream for research through the traffic ticket and moving violations surcharges. While 70 million dollars had been used for this purpose from 1998-2009, that ended when those funds were diverted to unrelated purposes.

We support the reinstatement of these funds and hope that the symposium and press conference were an effective way to make this happen. Congratulations to everyone involved in the effort, and please let us know if Push to Walk can help in any way.

Cynthia

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With Valentine’s Day upon us, it was fitting that the New York Spinal Cord Injury Association chose to show some love and honor two very special people: Boyd Melson and Dr. Adam Stein. At Slate in New York City, a Mardi Gras fund raiser was held last night, and according to one attendee I spoke with, it was a lot of fun!

Their guest of honor was Adam B. Stein, M.D., Chairman Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine-The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.  Dr. Stein  received the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year award in recognition of his many achievements in the field of rehabilitation medicine and unfailing support of the SCI community.

Special Guest and MVP (Most Valuable Philanthropist) Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson – professional boxer and founder of Team Fight to Walk was honored for his generous support of SCI research and the quest for a cure.

I am honored to know both of these people, and recognize how valuable their contributions to the SCI community are. Thank you for all you do!

NYCSCIA is run entirely by volunteers, ensuring that all donations go toward funding programs and services that directly benefit people with spinal cord injuries.

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For the past few years, as our schedules have wound down and our weekends are not spent on our children’s athletic events and other activities, I have found myself watching more football games than ever before. Sundays have become more relaxing, and I enjoy watching either the Jets or Giants (no boo’s please!). Even though I sometimes question how the game is played and the number of injuries sustained, I do like to watch.

Since this week is leading up to the Super Bowl, I was curious about the sports reports I hear detailing various activities for the week. So I went online to check them out: Media Day, Legends for Charity Dinner, Super Bowl Breakfast, Luncheons and a Super Saturday of Service. Wow, it almost seems like THE GAME is lost in all of the other events!

But this got me thinking about such a BIG event. When the Super Bowl comes to New Jersey – YES, NEW JERSEY, not New York one year from now in 2014, wouldn’t it be great if the focus of all these “extras” could highlight the need for care, treatment, cure and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and paralysis from neurological conditions like MS, brain injuries and strokes?? Wouldn’t that be SUPER cool??? Come on, people, how do we make this happen??

New Jersey is home to the Jets AND the Giants and their passionate fans; Dr. Wise Young, a prominent international researcher for SCI cure is based at Rutgers University; Kessler Institute, a Model SCI Center, in West Orange;  Kessler Foundation who focuses on employment opportunities for people with disabilities (and so much more!); The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which provides comprehensive resources & funding for everything related to SCI and paralysis, and of course, yours truly – Push to Walk!

Together, I think we should all get on board and petition the NFL to consider SCI and paralysis a major focal point for the 2014 Super Bowl. Anyone in???

Game on! Enjoy the excitement! Cynthia

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Happy Friday Everyone!

Riding my exercise bike this morning, I was watching the news as usual and was so happy to see a story about a flash mob that gathered in a store parking lot to collect money for a family in need. It just spoke volumes about how generous people really are, and how collectively, we can all make a difference to others. Reminds me of the old favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which I watched for the very first time just last year! I loved that story – who doesn’t?

So along those lines of spreading the Christmas spirit and being thankful for all those who have helped me, my family and Push to Walk, I would now like to mention other people and organizations who are near and dear to my heart and share how thankful I am to them:

Bob Parker and NewBridge (www.newbridge.org), a local non profit which helps bring balance to people’s lives through counseling, housing and education for children, adults and seniors. Besides having my own ties to them for many, many years, their nurse and social worker helped my Mother and provided some much needed services when she was living alone.

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, a new favorite since being immersed in the world of spinal cord injury, is a wonderful group of people dedicated to uniting and empowering the international spinal cord injury community to cure paralysis through advocacy, education and support for research. Marilyn Smith and her team have worked tirelessly to make progress in all of these areas and continues to provide a voice for all of us in search of a cure. Thank you! (www.u2fp.org)

Another favorite local non profit is the Community Soup Kitchen (www.cskmorristown.org) who provides nutritious meals in a warm, safe, and caring environment, free of charge, no questions asked along with assistance in accessing community resources, services, and educational programs. Carol Kennedy has been involved with this organization for many years and they meet an ever increasing need for these types of services.

Some SCI favorite resources: The Kessler Foundation, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, SCI Sucks, Spinalpedia and  FacingDisability.com. Check out these links and take advantage of the information and services they provide. Perhaps they will become some of your favorites in the future!

Enjoy the weekend, and I hope you look forward to the holidays with as much love and joy in your hearts as I do!

Cynthia

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Thanks to the entire group at Unite 2 Fight Paralysis headed up by Marilyn Smith and the Working 2 Walk conference that was held in Irvine, California at the beginning of November. Our Push to Walk trainer, Tommy Sutor, attended the conference and was very excited to hear about the research that is going on from many different scientists. He came back with a ton of information to share, and has been telling us what he learned. So many exciting things going on!

One of the most important areas of the conference involved advocacy  and how people with spinal cord injuries need to join together and fight for a cure. While the areas of maintaining and improving health and wellness are important (very important, in my opinion if people want to be ready for a cure), the focus seemed to be on making advocating for a cure a priority now more than ever. Several people spoke about the current efforts and what individuals can do to contribute to the cause. As with most areas of concern, banding together and working in a unified group is sure to have more positive results than working separately and independently.

Please check the following links to learn more about what went on at the Working 2 Walk conference. Sorry I couldn’t be there this year – Hurricane Sandy derailed my plans (along with many others I am sure), but I look forward to attending next year in Boston. And since it will be back on the east coast, I look forward to more staff members attending as well. Thank you, Marilyn, for your hard work!

Check these links for more info:

http://working2walk2012.wordpress.com/2012/

http://www.u2fp.org/

Cynthia

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Hello Everyone!

I am very excited that our Push to Walk trainer Tommy, my daughter Arianne (newly graduated as a DPT – Doctorate of Physical Therapy) and I will be attending this year’s Working 2 Walk conference in Irvine, CA. Marilyn Smith and the Unite 2 Fight Paralysis team does an awesome job of bringing together the best and brightest in the field of spinal cord injury research to update consumers and professionals on the current status of progress being made.

I attended the two previous conferences in Phoenix and Maryland, and am very happy to be going again this year. In addition to hearing speakers that include Jerry Silver, Frank Reynolds and Dr. Oswald Steward, I love connecting with friends around the country and meeting new friends, all of whom are involved in the SCI community.

The conference will conclude with a tour of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is sure to be exciting and informative! Tommy is especially interested in all things related to research and SCI, so this is sure to be a highlight of the trip.

Check out the website for the conference (www.working2walk.org), and follow the Care Cure posts that usually keep track of all the conference happenings (http://sci.rutgers.edu). I’ll give you a summary when we return.

Cynthia

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In a unanimous decision Saturday night at the Roseland Ballroom, Boyd Melson beat Shawn Williams, improving his record to 8-0. I’m not a huge fan of boxing, but I do enjoy watching Boyd. Knowing that he is so passionate about raising money for SCI Clinical Trials in the U.S. makes me a huge fan! At times I feel like his mother, worrying about him getting hurt; at other times I am rooting for him to knock out his opponent. I pretty much hold my breath during each round!

Boyd donates all of his winnings to Dr. Wise Young at the Rutgers SCI Project, has formed Team Fight to Walk, and has enlisted the help of other boxers to support the cause.

Check out his website: www.teamfighttowalk.com and www.boydmelson.com. Boyd is a special kind of person, and I am glad to know him!

Roseland Ballroom, Jan 21, 2012

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