A Goal to Help Others
By: Sonia Lima
Name: Vinny Integlia
Integlia, 51, endured six months of rehabilitation, and learning how to live life in a wheelchair. Integlia and his mother, Mojca, created a foundation to raise money for spinal cord injury research. In 1986, he graduated with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois. In 2003, Integlia moved with his parents to Tucson, Arizona where he still resides now.
A couple of months after, cancer reappeared on his neck and 32 lymph nodes had to be removed. Integlia has been told that he is one of the two quadriplegics in the U.S that has undergone that procedure.
Integlia says that his remaining eye isn't doing so great. "It has something called central serous retinopathy," explains Integlia, "which is basically a pocket of water behind the retina and it skews my vision a lot. My vision is 20/150, so it's hard for me to drive. I take buses mostly everywhere."
Integlia has a crew of four care takers and two backups. "I have people who help me to my personal care, as do many quadriplegics," explains Integlia, "but I live on my own. I am independent and always have been."
Integlia's ultimate goal is to be part of an advocacy group that would have an impact nationwide. It would be a program for people living with spinal cord injuries that would help them pay for their personal care attendants.
"So if someone like me wants to get personal care in Florida," explains Integlia, "there should be programs available to pay for those people, and we wouldn't have to be dirt poor to get them. You can be a millionaire; it is all based on your income, your salary, your savings, and your assets. I would like to see that in every state."
"It's great," explains Integlia, "because whenever I go out and speak, I can just refer my audience to my website and the first chapter is there."
Most of Integlia's days are spent marketing the book and his website via the Internet. "I am in the process of looking for a marketing person," explains Integlia, "and getting out and speaking more."
When it comes to public speaking Integlia says, "If the audience is kids, it's a little different because it's hard to keep their interest. I have spoken to over two-thousand people since I started this. And it originally started as a dream."
Integlia has other plans in mind. "It's really not about the money," says Integlia of his book. "I don't really care. It's really about impacting other people's lives. My theory is that if you can change one person's road, if you can make their path easier, or you can help them in anyway, just one person, one soul, then your life is fulfilled. That's what it's about."
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Camera MouseThe Camera Mouse uses a standard USB camera to convert head and finger motions into computer mouse pointer movements.
The CyberlinkBrain Actuated Technologies has developed this unique, futuristic system enabling hands-free control of a mouse cursor to power video games and other electronic products. The Cyberlink device, reminicent of a science fiction gadget, utilizes a headband with sensors that detect electrical signals made from subtle facial muscle and eye movements as well as from brain wave activity.
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laesieworks.com: Computer AccessIt's can be very important for a quadriplegia to have very good access to normal computer & software, even when laying flat in bed. This page is about how I do it. No, that dot is nothing religious! With that dot I control my computer.
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