Keeping the spirit of SCI Awareness day alive

Did you know

….. that every spinal cord injury is different and effects on the sufferer are far ranging?

Did you know

….. that suffering a spinal cord injury is not just about losing the ability to walk, but can mean losing all function, sensation and movement below the site of the injury?

It has been over five weeks since SCI Awareness Day, but at nsif part of our mission is raising awareness about SCI and the need for a cure – and that is ongoing.

At nsif we used SCI awareness week to promote the “unseen” side of life with spinal cord injury. Because there is more to spinal cord injury than not being able to walk. The iceberg graphic we created reached over 10,800 people and had over 480 likes and shares. This was a record for nsif and shows there is a need to be saying and doing more to highlight these challenges in society.

It is nearly 12 years since the realities of spinal cord injury collided with the lives of Daniel and David Nicholls. Daniel’s swimming accident on Bondi Beach led, two years later, to the founding of this charity. But as David himself often says: before it happened to his son, he knew nothing about spinal cord injury. His promise to Dan – that he would “get him walking again” – was made at a point when he did not even realise spinal cord injuries like Dan’s were incurable.

The fact is, unless SCI touches your life in some way, there is very little reason to understand the day-to-day challenges it poses. SCI Awareness Day gave us a chance to hear from some of our supporters about their personal experiences. Here were a few of the things they said:

“The need for carers is something that is so disruptive to your privacy, something I find hard even after 15 years,” said Kevin, 38 years old.

“I couldn’t even clean my own teeth,” said Marianne Rooprai, who was paralysed to C4 level in 2004.

“Widths of doorways, steps, accessible bathrooms and kerbs are just some of the potential barriers that remove any spontaneity from my life,” said Suzanne, 27 years old.

To read their stories, click here.

There were of course many brighter moments shared by our supporters on SCI Awareness Day, such as discovering completely new hobbies and incredible support from friends, families and partners. But overall, their experiences confirmed that we must keep fighting for a cure for spinal cord injury.

Raising awareness about spinal cord injury is a big part of that; it is essential to galvanizing support for a cure. Because once people begin to fully understand the effects of SCI, the full breadth of them, and its randomness – it can affect anyone, at any time in life – finding a cure begins to be a lot more relevant to society as a whole.

Some of our partners include