This is where the staff of the Reeve Foundation is sharing up-to-the-minute information and putting some context around the news affecting the spinal cord injury and paralysis community. Not to mention insight into what's going on here at the Foundation.
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Melanie Winkler D'Andrea is a caregiver who's memoir, One Door at a Time, reveals the struggles, reality, and hardships of being the caregiver to her husband, Dan, who is living with paralysis from a construction accident.
Joe Canose, Senior Vice President of Quality of Life here at the Reeve Foundation helps reveal the realities of the affects of when someone becomes injured:
It was about this time that Melanie also realized that, apart from actor Christopher Reeve’s account of his paralysis, there were very few books that offered any insight into what being a caregiver and spouse of a spinal-cord-injured person was like.
“Seven years ago, I didn’t see anything,” she said.
Along the way, her thoughts grew into a plan: to write an honest account of what her journey was like. She drew from her journals, her scrapbooks and her memories.
“I felt compelled to write about it,”Melanie said. “If just one person reads it and tells me that they loved it and it helped them, I’ve reached my goal.”
At the Reeve Foundation, Canose said that people underestimate the broader impact of a paralyzing injury.
“A spinal-cord injury in a family affects the whole family,” Canose said. “There’s a lot of families that don’t [make it]. Some can’t handle it.”
For caregivers, Canose said, the difficulty of the role lies in its neverendingness.
“It’s 24/7. That’s the difference,” he said. “You’re on call all the time – to handle issues you’d rather not deal with.” (Derek Gee, Buffalo News photo credit.)
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