“What I’m really eager for is getting into the outside sports again. I want to bike, I want to climb, I want to get a chair that I can go trail riding.”
“I’m still of the belief that I may walk again… but my other goals are to be able to get my left hand to move a little bit more… get my back to do more things, so that I can sit up on my own… I know I won’t do it in a day, may not ever do it, but that’s not going to say that I’m going to stop trying.” - Earnestine
“I think what helps a lot when it comes to the relationship between a caregiver and the injured is just being transparent and being honest and open with one another about what you’re going through, the feelings… the fears… the future and what you expect from one another.” - Tonya
“You know, that’s something my wife and I always talk about. One day she asked me, ‘What is your biggest fear in life?’ I said, ‘Being able to walk’ … because now… I have to adjust, and at 36 years old I don’t think I want to do that.”
Jenae “Jayybabii” Baines - T4/5 Incomplete Paraplegic from North Carolina, USA, 10 Years Post-Injury
“Whether they’re in a wheelchair or they have another disability… whatever it is that you want to do in this world, do it, because you never know who you are meant to inspire or motivate to get them to do what it is they want to do in this world.”
“Don’t hold any question in… find somebody to talk to, because you don’t know this thing... Let me give you some resources, and if I don’t have any resources, I’ve got 75 other homies with me that got a resource to help you.”
Check out the Harris' channels at https://linktr.ee/Harrishopeandhumor
“What’s more important than walking to me is just family… me and my family have become very close. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, and you don’t have to be the same person you were a year ago either. You can change, everyone can change. If I did it, you can too.”
“Little things are big things, so the smallest accomplishments you should celebrate, and they should be huge, because surviving a C4/5 spinal cord injury is a huge accomplishment in itself… but it really truly does get better… I never ever thought that I would be comfortable in my own skin again and I very much am.”
Check out China's YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC2ymCenR_UBu8LtOIR3yuA
“I got a new lease on life… I figured, you know what, I’m not going to waste the next 30 years… We all have that ‘why me’ moment. Don’t focus on it, because we’re not special. Why not us? …The sooner you absorb that, the more you can move on and start taking those forward movements.”
***Douglas is a certified peer mentor with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Magee Rehab Hospital***
“One thing that I told myself in the very beginning was that I have an option…the list of things that I could do could go on and on, or the list of the things that I can’t do could go on and on, and it’s just which list are you going to focus your energy on, and which list are you going to write with your life?”
***Dustin is a certified peer mentor with United Spinal*** Check out his non-profit https://www.gounlimited.org/
“If you’re going to sit in a chair and give up, you will not advance. You have to get off your duff, figuratively obviously, and figure a way to move forward in life where you will succeed."
“When people ask me now, ‘Do you wish that God would heal you?’... I tell them God did heal me. He healed my heart, and he allowed me to have my wreck to stop me and bring me out of the life that I was living before.”
“For me, I want to continue to grow my foundation so that we can help even more people. I want to teach my kids how to ski and bike and give them a love of the outdoors. I want to continue to be outside and be active for myself… There’s just life, it’s just the same as what other people want, and walking is just not part of it."
Check out the Kelly Brush Foundation for adaptive sports community and funding at https://kellybrushfoundation.org/.
“Avoid staying in the house at all costs. Whatever you can do to not be in the house, do that, do it as fast as possible… Even if you don’t like sports, adaptive sports is such a good way to get more independent being around people with your same injury.”
*** Josh is a certified peer mentor with United Spinal. ***
“Since my injury, probably what surprises me the most is I’ve become a much more patient person, and I’ve become a more generous person as far as wanting to help people.”
“Do not think this is going to be an overnight fix. It’s gonna be a long road. It’s gonna be hard, but it’s not impossible and you’re going to meet a lot of cool people along the way. Always know somebody’s rooting for you.”
“We can find so much love in this world if we just look around… It’s about finding happiness with whatever we have. And If I can’t find happiness in the chair, I’m not going to find happiness when I walk again if that day ever comes.”
“The strongest, most intelligent people that I’ve met are wheelchair users, and they have given me motivation just to be a better person in life. I would’ve never met those people if I wasn’t injured. I would’ve never had this outlook on life.”
“I’ve never doubted there’s a reason. Yeah I have my moments of anger and frustration, but overall life has been good… I’ve done a lot more since my injury I think than I would have if I weren’t injured.”
“Get out and live life, there is absolutely no reason you should be sitting inside of a house doing absolutely nothing.”
“I would love to be able to walk again, but my mind always works at a very fast pace, so it’s a go, go, go, go. I get around faster in the wheelchair than I can with other devices… as long as I can still keep up, I’m good.”
***Sharon is certified as a peer mentor with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Ability 360, and United Spinal.***
“My life has always been defined by a) family, b) church, and c) the ranch. Well, I’m doing all three of those things. So if doing all three of those things and walking was fine, why can’t doing all three of those things and not walking be fine?”
"You have to know what’s right for you, you have to advocate for yourself, but go back to living your life, immediately, as soon as possible."
*** Jeff Hayne is a certified peer mentor with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.***
“It changes everything when you realize that you’re not stuck in the bed… You think you’re going to die that way, but even if you can’t breathe on your own, there’s sip-and-puff chairs that can allow you to go anywhere you want."
"You can’t let things get you down and keep you down. Don’t live about the chair or for the chair... live for yourself, your family, and your loved ones."
“When I was first injured all I wanted to do was walk again. I just wanted my body back, and it was really like I went through a death where I lost a best friend and he’s no longer here, but that best friend is me.”