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REINVENTING THE WHEEL: Stories of Life After Spinal Cord Injury

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Reinventing the Wheel Reveca Torres21 Photographers + 21 People with Spinal Cord Injury = 21 Photo Stories about ABILITY

The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH + MEDICINE CHICAGO, with KEEPSAYK LLC, a pioneering Chicago Tech Startup, and BACKBONES, a nonprofit providing support for people with spinal cord injuries, announce the online debut of an innovative collaborative awareness project, Reinventing the Wheel: Stories of Life After Spinal Cord Injury, in recognition of ADA25, the 25 anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The new exhibit is viewable online immediately at

The revolutionary exhibit pairs 21 individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) from across the country with 21 photographers who have documented the individuals’ lives and created a series of photo essays that highlight how people with SCIs lead productive, successful lives and make significant contributions to society. Reinventing the Wheel tells stories of families overcoming hardships, people rediscovering their identity, relationships, recovery & growth, and individuals finding camaraderie.

“When I first Googled disability or wheelchair, I saw hundreds of depressing images of people looking ill or hopeless,” said BACKBONES Founder & Executive Director Reveca Torres. “As someone with an SCI, I know this is not accurate. Images have so much power in changing perceptions and attitudes, so I have made it my goal to change these images and more importantly the perceptions that led to these images.”

The online exhibit is based on a physical exhibit that premiered at the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago (NMHMChicago) in 2013, and was converted into online form using the KEEPSAYK instant scrapbook iPhone app, from the innovative Chicago startup of the same name ( Dr. Mike Doyle, Founder and Chair of the NMHM Chicago, said, “With our limited resources, I don’t know how we could have done anything like this without the help of the KEEPSAYK app. And, since the museum can’t afford to pre-print an exhibit catalog, it’s amazing that visitors to the online exhibit Web site can order their own printed copies of each of the stories directly from their Web browsers or mobile devices.”

“KEEPSAYK is thrilled that our instant scrapbook® platform can be used to enable a small museum in Chicago to so easily expand beyond its own walls and create content that can reach an online audience of millions worldwide,” said Kim Harrod, KEEPSAYK’s Founder and CEO. “We are honored to help these heroic BACKBONES members share their impactful stories with the world.”

For more information on ADA25, please see

The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH + MEDICINE CHICAGO ( promotes knowledge of health and medicine and encourages scientific research and innovation.
NMHMChicago engages the public through cutting edge technologies and digital exhibitions, and serves as a locus of education for scholars, innovators, students, educators and the general public. Last month, NMHMChicago launched CodeAbode, the nation’s first health-focused codeschool, which started classes on June 1. CodeAbode offers “boot camp” and part-time options designed to turn students into web and mobile app developers. (

BACKBONES ( provides peer support for people with SCI and their families through telephone, in-person or web-based connections. Peers share experiences and motivate others to live life to the fullest! BACKBONES creates an alternative to the traditional “support group” where people can ask questions and learn from each other informally.

KEEPSAYK® for iPhone enables users to create a beautiful instant scrapbook® directly from the phone, with photos, videos & text, shareable via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email or text. Crop photos, add captions and change page layouts with a single tap – the app makes it brilliantly simple. Shared scrapbooks can be viewed on the web from any phone, tablet or computer, and, launching this week at BlogHer15, printed KEEPSAYK books can be instantly ordered from either the app or the shared web view. Learn more at


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