We believe in empowering those affected by paralysis with the best knowledge, resources, support, and community.
The Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network is by far one of my personal favorite programs we have. It's exciting, unique, and gives individuals back their ability to walk and much more.
One of these individuals is Stanley Yoo. Yoo (pictured center) was spinal cord injured in November 2008 after he landed on his neck on a trampoline warming up for a gymnastics class. At that time, Yoo was a resident doctor in Temple University's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program (PM&R) in Philadelphia, PA. As a doctor, he knew all too well what had happened.
Having spent four months in therapy, Yoo is more aware than ever that what would be seemingly small victories to everyone else, are immeasurable to the actual patient. "Function is determined by how much you put into it," says Yoo. "Going from doing flips in the air to pain in my back when I walk hardly makes you feel like yourself. It's about changing focus, reinventing yourself."
"Any victory, big or small, keeps alive that hope for SCI patients that there will one day be a cure," explains Yoo. "Every advance in pharmacology, mechanical technology, stem cell therapy, while they might not offer a complete cure, will undoubtedly have huge implications in the individual lives of spinal cord injured patients."
To really understand the life of a someone living with a spinal cord injury, Yoo says, "I would urge any non-spinal cord injured individual to take a minute to reflect on all the things that so many of us take for granted -- the ability to feel a loved one's touch, to have control over your own bowel and bladder, to move your body freely, to stand up and walk, to cough when you have to, or even simply to breath on your own. Then, imagine losing any one of those things and ask what you wouldn't do to get that back. SCI patients often have several of these deficits, sometimes all, and occasionally even more. So, while a complete cure might be a long time coming, simply improving some of the sequels of the disease is, and always will be, progress worth making."
Read about Yoo's NRN experience and his journey to walking again.
Join our community.