It is estimated that more than 250,000 Americans are living with spinal cord injuries. That number is increasing by 11,000+ persons a year due to injuries that occur causing spinal cord injuries.
Christopher Reeve and Joni Eareckson Tada are two persons who suffered catastrophic paralysis as a result of spinal cord injuries. Reeve, of Superman fame, became a paraplegic as the result of an accident which occurred while he was participating in an equestrian competition in 1995. Instead of withdrawing from the world, he became a powerful voice for the need for funding of medical research to help paraplegics regain a better quality of life, up to and including the ability to walk again. Sadly, Reeve died in 2004.
While still a teenager, Joni Eareckson Tada became a paraplegic in the summer of 1967 after diving into a shallow pond. Like Reeve, Joni decided to not only survive but also to thrive in spite of the barriers confronting people with disabilities such as hers. She is a writer, painter and a strong advocate for people with disabilities.
There are some precautions that can be taken to reduce one’s likelihood of suffering a spinal cord. They are shared in this list.