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Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis Resource Center

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Reeve Foundation Peer and Family Support Program

Support Staff

Bill Cawley   Bill Cawley - Program Manager, Peer & Family Support Program
I started working at the Reeve Foundation in 2009. I am currently the Director of the Peer & Family Support Program. I am proud to work on such an important program and feel fortunate to work with a dedicated group of regional coordinators and peer mentors across the country. What has always drawn me to the Reeve Foundation is the tagline of "Today's Care. Tomorrow's Cure." I believe there will be a cure for paralysis one day, but until then, there is a lot of living to do. I graduated from Penn State in 1990 and after graduated I spent most of my professional career in financial services and banking. I am a c6-c7 quadriplegic after a diving injury in 1992; since then I continued working, got married, and have four amazing children.
     
Harold Aguilar   Harold Aguilar - Peer & Family Support Program Administrator
Harold Aguilar started working with the Reeve Foundation in April 2006 as an Associate Information Specialist. His role at the time was interacting with the public and answering their questions relating to paralysis and helping them improve their quality of life by providing relevant resources. Over the years, he has now transitioned to being the Peer & Family Support Program Administrator. In this role, he helps keep the Peer & Family Support Program moving forward by making sure a lot of the behind the scene activities work seamlessly.
     
Kristina Allen   Kristina Allen - Northern Plains RC states (MN, SD, ND, MT, and WY)
I am Kristi to most people and live in Sioux Falls, SD. I have been here most of my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 10 and at the age of 15 was paralyzed from a rare virus called Transverse Myelitis. I have been paralyzed for 18 years. I am also a blogger for the Reeve Foundation in the Life after Paralysis section of the website. I am a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan; I love Halloween, crafting, shopping, shoes, and various adaptive activities from snow skiing to kayaking. I have a blinged out pink and silver wheelchair and drive a lifted, wheelchair modified Nissan Titan.
     
Juan Garibay   Juan Garibay - Pacific Coast RC (CA and NV)
I have been living with a Spinal Cord Injury for twenty years due to gun violence in Los Angeles. After being told that I would never walk again I had to reinvent myself. I have attended UCLA for drug and alcohol counseling. I work at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center with our Engineering Research Department in creating and developing ways to improve quality of life for people with disability like myself. Both of these jobs give me total pleasure because we are able to show and demonstrate that you can still have a great quality of life despite your disability.
     
TJ Griffin   TJ Griffin - Gulf West RC (TX, OK, AR and LA)
I was paralyzed on October 19, 1990 playing high school football for Trinity high school in Euless, TX. I broke my neck making a tackle. (But, as I like to say I went out in style.) Since my accident I went on to graduate from university of Texas of Arlington then went on to work for 12 years at IBM. In January 2013, I started working for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as a regional coordinator. While working with the Reeve Foundation I also try to help as many individuals with disabilities by running the neuro fitness foundation in Euless, Texas. The neuro fitness foundation is a gym for people disabilities and it is free of cost to any of the clients. I also serve on the board of a non-profit organization called helping restore ability which helps disabled individuals with home modifications and pays for their full time attendant care. Being paralyzed 23 years ago definitely changed my life. Fortunately, realizing that I can help other people with their disability and let them understand that life is not over is proof to me that I have a great life. As I like to say the only thing different about me is I sit down and get better parking spaces.
     
Tom Hoatlin   Tom Hoatlin - Midwest RC (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin)
As a paraplegic since 1991, I have made spinal cord injury support my career and passion. I have worked as a peer mentor in various rehabilitation settings including the University of Michigan Health System. One of my favorite things about this program is traveling to different areas, meeting many new people and learning all the great stories and successes that they have accomplished. Although we are teaching and training I have learned so much from our peer mentors that I have taken with me and shared with others. By sharing resources and providing support we are truly offering hope and making a difference. That is truly the reward I get from being a part of this national peer to peer program
     
James Howard   James Howard - Mid-Atlantic RC (DE, MD, VA, WV, KY, TN, NC AND SC)
I am a C6/C7 quadriplegic injured in a service connected accident while attending the US Army Special Forces Qualification course at Fort Bragg, NC. I spent much of my time in the Army as an officer with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, before setting my sights on joining the Green Berets. I graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 2002 with a BA in Civil Engineering, and then joined the Army in 2002 as a paratrooper Second Lieutenant (2LT) platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. I deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and other areas during my career. After time spent at the Shepherd Center, I was medically retired from the US Army as a Captain in 2010. I have stayed very active in a variety of organizations, including: Volunteer for Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans Liaison for AMBUCS adapted cycles, Family Case Manager for Quality of Life Foundation, Docent tour guide for Airborne and Special Ops Museum and the Veterans & Athletes United Foundation, where I am the current Executive Director.
     
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Todd Johnston   Todd Johnston - Northeast RC (NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, RI, NH, VT and ME)
While driving home after work on July 23, 1982 I had a motorcycle accident which left me blind in my right eye and a T4 paraplegic. Since my accident I spent my professional career in IT and financial services but during that time I have stayed very active in our community. My first real involvement was serving as the Employment Services Manager at Ability Beyond Disability and played for The Connecticut Spokebenders, a wheelchair basketball team. I have continued to get more involved in helping our community members and hold the following positions: A Steering Committee member of: Connect-Ability; Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance, a board member of: The CT Chapter of National Spinal Cord Injury Association; Moving With Health Oriented Physical Education; Connecticut Team Reeve, as well as Co-Chairing a Powerful Tools for Caregivers program in Connecticut. I also chair 2 events in CT; the Wheel-Walk to Work and The Take A Veteran Sailing event. For enjoyment I like to smoke cigars, have a cocktail, play 9-Ball pool, and dance.
     
Steve Kenny   Steve Kenny - Southeast RC (FL, GA, AL and MS)
I was injured in a diving accident May 1993, resulting in a SCI at the C-5/6 location and quadriplegia. I'm a very outgoing; caring person who enjoys serving as an example of how there can be great quality of life when paralyzed. As a quadriplegic, I have lived independently, continued my corporate sales career, traveled extensively, dated, mentored many disabled individuals and volunteered for many organizations like the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. I continue to enjoy a very active and fulfilling life along with my fiancé our dog and two cats. I love to travel and often participate in activities like wheelchair rugby (head coach & player), rowing, waterskiing, skydiving, performing with a rock band, attending many concerts and sporting events, and go anywhere and do anything else I can get my wheels into. I believe one should concentrate on what you CAN DO today and not dwell on the things you can't control; that things could always be worse and that a positive attitude is the key to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
     
    Stan Koslowski - Pacific Coast RC (CA, NV, HI)
Stan sustained a spinal cord injury at the T-12 level in 1963 while a senior in high school. He has a long history of involvement with the spinal cord injured and disabled community that began in 1970’s when he lived in CT. He has served the State’s ADA Coordinator for CT, Director of the Youth Services Commission, and the Asst. Director of the State Office of Protection and Advocacy. In addition to his government work, he won a gold medal in the 1972 Paralympics as a member of the wheelchair basketball team and has been inducted into the Wheelchair Basketball Hall of Fame. He has lived in CA since 2011 and currently serves as the head coach for the Santa Rosa Blazers, a wheelchair basketball team in Santa Rosa, CA. He has also served on a variety of committees that support the disabled community and in his free time he likes to garden and read about American History.
     
Adam Lane   Adam Lane - Plains RC (KS, MI, IA, and NE)
I decided shortly after the crash that left me paralyzed that, since I survived a potentially fatal accident, I should live my life to the fullest. I try to stay active and have been competing in triathlons for the last four years, even competing in the Para triathlon World Championships twice. Besides working for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, I also help teach EMTs and Paramedics at a local community college. Although two jobs and training keeps me busy, I also enjoy spending time with friends, going to movies, and finding restaurants to enjoy great food.
     
Ken Smith   Ken Smith - Pacific Northwest RC (OR, WA and ID)
My injury was due to an abdominal aorta aneurysm, it left me an incomplete, at the T9/L2. Four weeks before it happened I was on a 20 mile back country trip and just had a physical, I am one of the lucky ones, 80 percent never make it. I am involved in Spinal Cord Injury Association of Washington as their Director of Mentoring; I am also involved with American Association of Disabled People along with the University of Washington SCI rehab. I have also applied to be on the Governors Committee on Disability Issues and Labor along with being on a committee to look into ADA parking issues in Seattle. I work as a Technical Instructor teaching Cisco IT Essentials to at-risk youth for Youth Care in Seattle; this is a job training program.
     
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A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Religion and People with Disabilities (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Adjustment to SCI (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Aging with SCI (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Autobiogs or Biogs (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Chat Rooms (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Research (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Tutorial 101 (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Videos (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Deep Vein Thrombosis (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on New Injury Top 10 Questions (PDF)

Arkansas Spinal Cord CommissionThe mission of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission is to administer a statewide program to identify and meet the unique and lifelong needs of people with spinal cord disabilities in the state.

American Association of SCI Psychologists and Social WorkersPromote research to improve quality of care and works to improve skills and techniques of members.

CareCure CommunityCareCure Community features a SpinalNurse bulletin board with informed comments on matters of the bowel, and all issues of paralysis.

Canadian & American Spinal Research OrganizationPromotes and supports funding research to ultimately find a cure for paralysis. Also publishes journal of latest research they fund. Call (800) 361-4004 or use the link above.

Canadian Paraplegic AssociationAssists people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities to achieve individuality, self-reliance and full community participation. Call (613) 723-1033 or use the link above.

Craig HospitalWith funding from the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, has developed educational materials to help people with spinal cord injuries live in the community maintain their health. Topics include skin care, exercise, heart disease, weight control, alcohol abuse and conditions related to the aging body. Use the link above and click on SCI Health and Wellness.

Caregiver.comOffers a directory of support groups for caregivers.

Determined 2 HealProvides helpful information for the newly spinal cord injured.

FacingDisability.comFacing Disability is a web resource with more than 1,000 videos drawn from interviews of people with spinal cord injuries, their families, caregivers and experts. I know that this is a lot to ask, but we'd be so grateful for your help. I'm looking forward to discussing this link with you, and to answering any questions you may have.

Model Systems CentersA federally funded program of 14 specialty medical and/or rehabilitation centers across the US. The SCI Care System collects and submits acute, rehabilitation and follow-up (annual, long-term post-discharge) data on SCI patients who received care in the these centers following injury.

The Miami Project to Cure ParalysisThe Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has studied functional electrical systems for exercise.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)NSCISC supervises and directs the collection, management and analysis of the world's largest spinal cord injury database. Headquartered at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA)At NSCIA, we educate and empower survivors of spinal cord injury and disease to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment. We fulfill this mission by providing an innovative Peer Support Network and by raising awareness about spinal cord injury and disease through education.

New York Online Access to Health (N.O.A.H)Offers information and links related to spinal cord and head injury treatment, rehabilitation, and children. Materials in Spanish.

Neuroscience for KidsOffers an understandable look at the segments of the spinal cord; from University of Washington.

NJ Self-Help Group ClearinghouseEnables people to help themselves with self-help groups.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA): Spinal Cord InjuryFor more detailed information on the clinical practice guidelines on respiratory management with spinal cord injury you can request booklets from the Paralyzed Veterans of America. These booklets also provide guidelines on proper weaning from a ventilator.

SpineUniverseAt SpineUniverse our goal is to help patients and their families understand their back or neck problems. In clear, straightforward language we aim to explain what causes spinal problems and how they can be treated. We are committed to ensure that all of the information we present is trustworthy and of the highest quality.

Spinal Cord Injury Information NetworkThe Spinal Cord Injury Information Center features clinical information about bowel management and all other medical issues of paralysis.

University of Alabama at BirminghamOffers an information sheet (Info Sheet #11) on bladder care and management.

United Spinal AssociationOur mission is to improve the quality of life of all Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and post polio.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fact Sheet: VA and Spinal Cord InjuryOf the more than 250,000 Americans with serious spinal cord injuries and disorders, about 42,000 are veterans eligible for medical care and other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Paralysis Resource Center The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.

Reeve Foundation Online Paralysis Community Connecting people living with paralysis, families, friends and caregivers so we can share support, experience, knowledge, and hope.

Quality of Life Grants DatabaseFind resources within the PRC Quality of Life Grants Database. Search by Zip Code, State or an Entire Category.

Library Books and VideosFind resources within the PRC library catalog.

ASK OUR EXPERTS
  • Email our Paralysis Information Specialists
  • Call our Paralysis Information Specialists
  • Call our Paralysis Information Specialists
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The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern U.S. Time. International callers use 973-467-8270. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.

The information provided in the Paralysis Resource Center was supported by Cooperative Agreement number 1U59DD000838-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the Reeve Foundation and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.