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Daily Archives: December 29, 2006

Spinal cord injury prevention tips

Published: December 29, 2006

Always wear a seat belt. Secure or buckle children into age- and weight-appropriate child safety seats.

Do not ride in a car with a driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter or skateboard, in-line skating and roller-skating and horseback riding.

Make sure the water is deep enough before you go in headfirst. Entering feet first is safer than diving.

Turning pain to gain

Published: December 29, 2006

BARTLETT — More than 18 years ago, 20-year-old Dale Spencer of Bartlett tripped and fell by a set of railroad tracks while taking a shortcut to a party at Northern Illinois University.

The 40-foot plunge left Spencer with a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the waist down for the rest of his life.

And even though Spencer always will see his days from a wheelchair, this U46 board member has taken his tragedy and given it a positive spin. He now gives motivational speeches to local middle schools and high schools through the ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Foundation, a national group that works to prevent injuries through education, research, and legislative policy.

Use your mind, keep body safe

Published: December 29, 2006

Paralyzed former race car driver takes advice about spinal cord injuries to students in South Florida high schools.

The high-tech, mechanized wheelchair caught their attention. Students at McArthur High School in Hollywood sat spellbound as former race car driver Darrell Gwynn, 45, of Weston, spoke to them about using their minds to make good choices to keep their bodies safe.

The discussion was part of the first Florida Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week, aimed at paralysis prevention and promoting safety knowledge and understanding to reduce injuries and accidents.

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