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Celebrating SCI Awareness: This is How I Roll

By: Eizabeth Kumar 
Did you know September is spinal cord injury awareness month? The US Senate designated this month for SCI to bring awareness to education, better treatment and prevention. My injury happened in November 2004. I just started by second year teaching 5th grade and during Thanksgiving break my life changed forever. Since then I learned a lot about disability rights, my rights. I also met amazing people in our community. This month is the time to bring awareness to the daily challenges people with spinal cord injury face from getting equal treatment when it comes to employment, preventing pressure ulcers from sitting in the chair to being able to travel comfortably like everyone else. Simple tasks can be challenging but conquering those challenges turns into independence and peace of mind. Through blood, sweat and tears, I have met most of my goals and I continue to push myself though patience and understanding. I believe we all have challenges in this life that may not be obvious to all; it is how we deal with these challenges that help us grow as human beings. Some general statistics for people with SCI according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center include:
There are approximately 294,000 Americans currently living with SCI, and 17,810 new cases each year.
About 78% of new SCI cases are male. The average age at injury has increased from 29 years during the 1970s to 43 since 2015.
Vehicle crashes are the most recent leading cause of injury, closely followed by falls; acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds); and sports/recreation activities are also relatively common causes.
Lengths of stay in the hospital acute care unit have declined from 24 days in the1970s to 11 days recently. Rehabilitation lengths of stay have also declined from 98 days in the 1970s to 31 days recently.
Less than 1% of persons experienced complete neurological recovery by the time of hospital discharge.
Since 2015, about 30% of persons with SCI are re-hospitalized one or more times during any given year following injury. Among those re-hospitalized, the length of hospital stay averages about 18 days.
The average remaining years of life for persons with SCI have not improved since the 1980s and remain significantly below life expectancies persons without SCI.
As a board member of United Spinal I am proud to share this resource page that includes SCI facts and figures, secondary health complications, disability etiquette and much more! #WeRollUnited #SCIAwareness #morethanmydisability