A word from Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI)
September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and brings much deserved national attention to the over 1.2 million individuals living with a spinal cord injury. It also sends a timely message that now more than ever our country needs to invest in research, therapies and resources for all those living with paralysis.
The statistics surrounding spinal cord injury and paralysis are staggering: 100,000 of the 1.2 million individuals living with a spinal cord injury are veterans who suffered the injury while serving as members of the United States Armed Forces; 70 percent of all spinal cord injuries that occur in children under the age of 18 are a result of motor vehicle accidents; and every 48 seconds a person will become paralyzed, underscoring the urgent need to develop new neuroprotection, pharmacological, and regeneration treatments to reduce, prevent, and reverse paralysis.
As someone living with a spinal cord injury, I know the importance of research in finding a cure for this condition, and I'm also aware of the critical role that technology and services play in making it possible to go to work, participate in community activities and live a fulfilling life. While times are tight both in Washington and at home, we can't abandon our commitment to life-saving research or our responsibility to those who most need help to reach their potential. We simply need to be smarter about prioritizing our resources. I will continue to work to make sure that research moves forward and services for the disabled are preserved.