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3 with local ties inducted

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Dr. James S. Krause, Harriet McBryde Johnson and Marc Buoniconti

Three of this year’s 19 inductees into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame have Lowcountry connections.

Dr. James S. Krause, scientific director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund, was among those honored Monday. The research fund is financed through $100 surcharges attached to DUI convictions.

“I want people in South Carolina to feel good about what they’re doing,” Krause said of the state Legislature’s adoption of the fund seven years ago.

Krause also is associate dean for research in College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina, which includes Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and communications sciences and disorders.

An injury left Krause a quadriplegic at age 16, and he knows intimately the effect his teaching and research have on the day-to-day lives of people.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association held its fourth annual ceremony on Monday in New Orleans.

Also among the inductees is Harriet McBryde Johnson, a well-known Charleston Disability and civil rights attorney and author who died in June.

Johnson was born with a congenital neuromuscular disorder and fought against the “charity mentality,” leading protests against Jerry Lewis and what some consider to be his piteous commercial telethons.

She famously sparred with Princeton University’s renowned and controversial bioethicist, Peter Singer, in a cover story for New York Times Magazine.

Marc Buoniconti, who serves as ambassador for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, also was recognized. Buoniconti, with the help of his family, helped raise more than $200 million for research.

Buoniconti attended The Citadel on a football scholarship. When he was 19, during a game against East Tennessee State, he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

The Citadel welcomed back the former player and retired his jersey — No. 59 — in 2006, after a 1988 trial left teammates and officials divided.

K. Eric Larson, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, said, “It was amazing to learn that these three people — with such diverse backgrounds and areas of focus — all had ties to the Charleston region. All three are great examples of the type of people we are hoping to recognize.”

Inductees are chosen for a number of categories, all with the common theme of improving the quality of life for people living with spinal cord injury or disease.

More than 23,000 association members vote for nominees online.

By Jill Coley
The Post and Courier
Reach Jill Coley at 937-5719

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