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Life After Paralysis is a blog that represents a variety of paralysis community members. It is a place for open conversation about the issues and the interests of people living with paralysis, their family, friends, caregivers, and the professionals that serve them.
Comments are welcome!
The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
(Find out more about the contributors at www.ChristopherReeve.org/contributors.)
Those who follow my blogs know that I am very free in expressing opinions and spreading the word about different issues involving health and paralysis. However, there are situations where that is not possible. One of those is when writing about Cancer, as I have never been diagnosed with that disease and any information I relayed to my readers would be secondhand at best. However, a good friend of mine from Virginia, Sheri Denkensohn, has had Cancer and is very proactive in her efforts to get medical offices and hospitals equipped with accessible diagnostic devices for those of us who use wheelchairs.
Sheri has written about the importance of this matter in a blog for the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV) in Arlington. In her effort to spread the word she asked if there was a way that we could get it posted on the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation website, and I just received permission to do that. You will find it posted in its entirety below.
I hope you will agree with me that having access to the preventative side of healthcare needs to be a top priority for our community. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires accessibility in medical facilities and for medical diagnostic equipment, but the healthcare profession is having a hard time deciding to make this a priority. If enough individuals follow Sheri's example and speak up about this issue, which I know that many of you do already, positive change will continue to occur. Thanks for reading further, and if you go online to the original article Sheri wrote you can leave comments there as well as at the bottom of this page.
Cancer Does Not Discriminate
By Sheri Denkensohn
Originally posted on October 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm
This is my third year writing a blog entry in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m proud to say that I have been cancer free for the past three years! As I have mentioned in previous blog entries, early detection is the best way to prevent breast cancer from developing into something requiring significant treatment that is often difficult and painful. But for people with disabilities, mammograms are often a challenge because of the design of the equipment and for those in rural areas it is often difficult to get to a facility with adequate mammography machines. However, it is vital that women with disabilities, and others that that have a history of breast cancer in their family get a regularly scheduled mammogram.
I had the honor of being chosen to speak at the local American Cancer Society, Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk just a few weeks ago. You can listen below to my remarks, but the bottom line is that cancer does not discriminate. It does not matter whether you are disabled or nondisabled, young or old, black or white, straight or gay; cancer can get you.
There is a new mammography machine that is FDA approved and out on the market that is very accessible and will make it much easier for individuals with disabilities to get a mammogram. The design of the machine has it come to you so you do not need to try to maneuver into the mammography machine. However these machines are very expensive and not prevalent in the USA. I’m working hard to try to get one in the Washington DC area. But it takes money and passion and connections.
I believe in the cause and I am working as hard as I can to make it happen. As I work on this project, I am hoping that women with disabilities will heed this call to action and regardless of the difficulty in getting a mammogram, will do it. It is much better than the alternative of getting extensive treatment for more advanced cancer.
There is still time left in October. Schedule your mammogram now!
of speech (the only captioning currently available is Youtube’s automatic captioning)
© 2013 Michael Collins |