SHORT HILLS, N.J., March 2 /U.S. Newswire/ — The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), a program of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF), is sponsoring Gary Karp for a second round of speaking engagements at four new locations in Florida — three in Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale — to educate the public on healthy living with paralysis. Author and public speaker Karp, who sustained a spinal cord injury in 1973 after falling 25 feet from a tree, hopes to turn the common perceptions of life with a Disability upside down-one person at a time.
Most people begin by telling some tragic story about paralysis. The tragic part often happens after the injury.
During high school, I had a teacher who had been injured in Viet Nam. He taught marketing, computer skills and much more about life. He was someone you could just sit around with and kick the bull. Very rarely did he talk about what he’d been through but you just knew it was a lot. When he did reflect back on those days it was kept very brief and it was something you respected. Shortly after my accident, he said to me, “right now is the easiest you’ll ever have it.” I had just received the biggest blow of my life and was loosing everything and everyone around me.
I want to share with you a little bit about my husband and our family. I think that my husband is truly an “exceptional parent” and is a perfect example of how a person with a significant Disability can make a difference in the lives of others.
Jim Silcock is 36 years old and the parent of nine children. He is the adoptive father of three children with severe physical and medical special needs. He is also the foster father to six children with multiple handicaps. Additionally, Jim and I are in the process of adopting twin two-year-old boys with physical and developmental disabilities.
Every day more than thirty people become paralyzed from spinal cord injury (SCI) or disease. SCI generally results in one of two types of paralysis:
1. Paraplegia paralysis affecting the legs and lower part of the body;
2. Tetraplegia paralysis affecting the level below the neck and chest area, involving both the arms and legs.
The majority of people with SCI use wheelchairs for mobility, thus, they encounter many obstacles and barriers in everyday life. Among the most difficult barriers are those involving the public’s misperceptions and attitudes.