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Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2022: Friday 13th May
This Friday marks the annual SCI Awareness Day to highlight the challenges people with a spinal cord injury face every day and to raise awareness of the injury.
The theme this year is focusing on the everyday challenges faced by people with a spinal cord injury and the basic freedoms that are taken away as soon as the injury occurs.
A spinal cord injury can have a devastating impact on an individual in a split second, changing their lives forever. You can lose your independence, your freedom and, for some people, your reason for living.
These challenges were exaggerated during the Covid-19 pandemic when elements of independence were taken away, such as leaving the house or having carers in for support.
As the world is slowly getting back to normal and life is resuming to how it was pre-pandemic, this is still a challenge for those with a spinal cord injury and the process is much slower. There are still barriers in place which prevent them from living a ‘normal’ life.
There are issues with accessibility which create a barrier to everyday life as well as the general stigma they face around being disabled, none of which a non-disabled person would probably imagine. We took to the streets of Manchester to see for ourselves, with the help of a client of ours who uses a wheelchair, how accessible the city centre is for wheelchair-users.
The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) is a charity which supports those with a spinal injury to help them overcome the daily challenges of everyday life. They offer support and advice to those who need it and hope this SCI Awareness Day they can improve the understanding of what life with a spinal injury is like to the general public.
Not only this, but they hope to celebrate the ‘small wins’ and the mountains that those with a spinal injury overcome every day to highlight the challenges faced. They are asking their members to answer the question “what is your everyday mountain?” which coincides with the Martin’s Mountain challenge for the SIA.
Martin Hibbert suffered a spinal cord injury following the terror attack at the Manchester Arena back in 2017. He is now paralysed but has decided to try and raise £1 million for the SIA by trekking Mount Kilimanjaro in an adapted wheelchair. Martin is turning ‘an act of terror into a force for good’ to raise funds and awareness for spinal cord injuries.
To find out more and see how you can get involved, visit the SIA website here.