Category Archives: Spinal Cord Research

ADA Celebrates 25 Years – Still a Long Way to Go…

July 26, 1990, George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); a law that paved the way for equal rights and treatment for millions of Americans with disabilities.

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

It’s now 25 years later, and yes, a lot has improved; curbs have been reduced and ramps have been built. You’ll even find Braille on  signage and wheelchair lifts on city buses among the thousands of other improvements that have taken place as a result of the ADA. However, as many of the 38 million Americans with a disability can tell you, there is still a long way to go. Not only among the governing bodies of the United States, but among the public and private sector.

Many of the complaints still coming in from disabled Americans continue to revolve around lack of amenities, or amenities that just don’t function. Take for example a hotel chain with accessible rooms. Many of these rooms have what they call a roll-in shower and if you are lucky bars next to the toilet, but what many are still lacking are beds that sit lower to the floor. It’s still to this day far to common to see a business try to be compliant, but fail to wholly deliver, and airlines are not any better.

Don’t even get me started on all the stories circulating around the Internet regarding the experiences disabled travelers have experienced; from blatant disregard of their well-being to  downright humiliation. There are far too many…

As we look forward to celebrating this monumental occasion, we still have come a long way none-the-less.  An American with a disability is far better-off today than prior to the ADA, and things are only to improve as more and more advocates get involved to bring to light the shortcomings of the public and private sector.

If you would like to learn more about the ADA, please visit: http://www.ada.gov/ada_25th_anniversary/

 

Get Involved, Make a Difference – 3rd Annual KCSCI Conference is Coming

KCSCI Logo

SAVE THE DATE

The 3rd annual Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is taking place June 18, 2015 from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Marriot Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington, KY.

A Few of the Featured Invited Speakers and Preliminary Agenda for the 3nd Annual KCSCI (June 2015):

• Heidi Johnson-Wright and Steve Wright are experts in Universal Design, ADA in built environment, advocacy for Inclusive Design – as it relates to rural communities. Johnson-Wright is an ADA compliance professional and attorney with over 30 years of public speaking experience. Steve Wright has expertise in universal design, master plans, zoning codes, walk-ability, sustainability, architecture, transportation and public policy.
• Lindsey Mullis will present on fitness for people with mobility impairments. Mullis is the Health & Wellness coordinator for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.

This is a great opportunity for those in the surrounding area to be part of an organization dedicated to legislation and advocacy of the SCI community of Kentucky.

To learn more, or to register for this FREE event visit

http://tinyurl.com/qdzn8vv

Why This is Important

Just like anything else, focus of organized effort usually congregates around large metropolitan areas, leaving the smaller, urban areas exposed to unlawful practices, lack of quality assistance, organized care and support programs, but this is where KCSCI comes in.

KCSCI released the following statement:

“Organizations, outreach programs and specialized medical care providers for individuals living with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have traditionally been unorganized and without a common mission. Importantly, while current outreach efforts appear to have some impact for SCI individuals in urban areas, we wish to build cohesion among this community of individuals throughout the commonwealth by expansion into the more rural areas. We envision congress participants, sponsors, healthcare providers and care givers all exchanging information about programs available to those in need throughout the commonwealth. The community of individuals with SCI and their support systems can be a strong advocacy group given the right organizational structure.”

THEIR MISSION

The mission of the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is to gather individuals with SCI from around the commonwealth to join in the discussion of critical issues that are important to them and to help draft agendas to be used to legislate changes in our commonwealth for people with SCI. The members of the KCSCI should be strong advocates for the rights of all people with disabilities and be willing to provide peer mentoring for newly injured folks who may need additional support.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF KCSCI

•    We have formed an Advisory Board Committee Meeting whose charge it is to identify the top principal concerns of the SCI community that the KCSCI can help (for more information, visit www.karrn.org)
•    Based upon expert advice and careful thought, we have chosen not to file for nonprofit 501c3 status.
•    Our recognition is expanding as we continue to increase our network of people with SCI in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have an interactive Face Book page and we’re developing a website.
•    After the recent snow storms, we collectively contacted local councilmen and businesses to bring to their attention that the inadequate/improper snow removal from handicapped parking spaces was in violation of laws, in particular for vehicles with ramps requiring room. Fellow member David Allgood also helped us advance this legislation in the Capitol.

For more information you can contact KCSCI President, Jason Jones at jpjones@twc.com or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KCSCI

Could a new peptide treatment help treat spinal cord injury and more?

Big news today in the area of spinal cord injury. A group of Case Western Reserve scientists have recently been working with a new peptide treatment that has garnished new hopes in treating spinal cord injury.

The peptide is called intercellular sigma peptide (ISP), and in initial animal testing, this peptide has shown to reactivate paralyzed muscle fibers with more than a 80% success rate. Nearly all the animals involved in the testing, regained at least one lost ability related to the injury.

The peptide appears to work by allowing nerve fibers to overcome the scarring from the injury that blocks their regrowth. While more testing is still needed, this surely exhibits the advancements that could soon be on the horizon. Not only for spinal cord injury, but any disease or injury resulting in limitations due to scarring. Such potential treatments include, heart attack patients and those fighting MS.

To read the full article, please visit:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/New-drug-shows-huge-promise-in-repairing-spinal-cord-injuries/articleshow/45372754.cms&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTA4MjA4MDY3Njk3MjI5NTY4MDgyGmIxOGI2ZmM1OGVmMDFjZGU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGTLYFDRo0pu4DuQAVY4Uh-zYiLNg

My Finish Line Movie and Music Tour Coming to a Location Near You


Superior Van and Mobility, is proud to announce its participation as a local sponsor of the “My Finish Line” Premier Movie and Music Tour, sponsored by BraunAbility.

The tour includes 120 stops in all 50 states, and Superior Van and Mobility will be bringing this inspirational event to our areas FREE of charge throughout the year. These unprecedented events will include not only the stop by the “My Finish Line” tour bus, but will also provide information on the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, and will feature acoustic performances by Nashville Recording Artist, Michelle Murray and her special guest Brooke Gerhart. The concert will be followed by a special meet and greet, and copies of the “My Finish Line” DVD will also be available.

“My Finish Line” Premier Movie and Music Tour Premier Movie and Music Tour is based off the story of former INDYCAR racer and current car owner, Sam Schmidt, who became a quadriplegic following a racing accident in 2000. Following the accident, Nashville Recording Artist, Michelle Murray met Sam when she was performing at an Indy racing event in 2009. So inspired by Schmidt’s spirit and optimism, Murray wrote the song, “It Won’t Be If, But When” (Sam’s Song). The song later became the soundtrack to “My Finish Line”, a film that puts the spotlight on the amazing story of Sam Schmidt and his struggle in overcoming adversity. The tour celebrates Sam’s story, as well as providing awareness, hope and inspiration to disabled individuals across the United States.

Be sure to check our web site for more information,

locations and dates of the events near you!

50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Weeks…

If you can run a marathon, think about those who cannot…

Superior Van and Mobility’s own, Paul Erway is just one of three individuals who accepted the challenge and is participating in completing 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 weeks. Alongside Paul, Aaron Roux and Grant Berthiaume have also accepted the challenge; all three are working in tandem to raise awareness, donations and support for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research. In addition, the foundation provides outlets for therapy and works to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

The trio’s next marathon of the series will be #16 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon which will be held April 27,2013, Main Street, Louisville, KY.

While you may not be able to attend every event to cheer the team on, you can still help make a difference by making a donation to your local chapter of the Christopher & Dana Reeve foundation or by visiting www.50abilitymarathons.com for a direct link. Those who donate can feel good that their donation goes a long way to help people like Grant, Aaron, and Paul. Individuals who once walked and ran, but now must rely on the use of a wheelchair due to an unforeseen circumstance and/or event.

 

Remember, 50 marathons… 50 states… 50 weeks!

The challenge is on

New Hope for Reversing the Effects of Spinal Cord Injury

We are getting Closer!

Mar. 12, 2013 — Walking is the obvious goal for individuals who have a chronic spinal cord injury, but it is not the only one. Regaining sensation and continence control also are important goals that can positively impact an individual’s quality of life. New hope for reversing the effects of spinal cord injury may be found in a combination of stem cell therapy and physical therapy as reported in Cell Transplantation by scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“Our phase one/two clinical trial had one goal: to give patients who have no other treatment options some hope,” said Hatem E. Sabaawy, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine in the molecular and regenerative medicine program at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Early findings have concluded that we have met our goal and can improve the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injuries by providing a safe treatment that restores some neurological function.”

Dr. Sabaawy led a clinical trial that included 70 patients who had cervical or thoracic spinal cord injuries and were previously treated for at least six months without response. The patients were randomized into two groups, both of which were given physical therapy treatment. One of the groups also received stem cells derived from their own bone marrow injected near the injury site. Using the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment (AIS) Scale, patients received neurological and physical evaluations monthly for 18 months to determine if sensory and motor functions improved.

“Of primary importance, there was a notable absence of side effects in patients treated with stem cells during the course of our investigation,” added Dr. Sabaawy, who also is a resident member of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

None of the patients in the control group who received only physical therapy showed any improvement in sensory or motor function during the same time frame. Although the scale of injuries differed, all patients who were treated with a combination of bone-marrow derived stem cells and physical therapy responded to tactile and sensory stimuli as early as 4 weeks into the study. After 12 weeks, they experienced improvements in sensation and muscle strength, which was associated with enhanced potency and improved bladder and bowel control that eventually allowed patients to live catheter-free. Patients who showed improvement based on the AIS scale also were able to sit up and turn in their beds. Continue reading