When future generations look through my family’s mountains of photo albums, they won’t find any pictures of my parents learning to cath me or do my bowel program. Part of the reason is no one had a camera, but the more obvious reason is that those aren’t exactly the moments you want to show off, highlight or discuss with others. Yet looking back, they are but a few of countless family moments in the years since my injury that defined and strengthened our familial ties. Like so many others in the SCI community, my family and friends provided the strength I needed to persevere through difficult times and figure out how my new body fit into the new reality facing it.
I know that not everyone is so lucky. I’ve met a lot of people who have had to face SCI/D without the support of family or a coterie of friends. I’m sure many of you fall into that category, and to those of you who do, kudos for persevering. But I worry that there are a substantial number of individuals out there who have been or are in danger of being consumed by SCI/D because they don’t have the support systems so many of us enjoy.
NSCIA, United Spinal Association and Life in Action are, in part, an effort to provide that support and sense of community. Together, we can reach out to all the members of the SCI/D community and do our best to ensure everyone has that same type of familial support. As Life in Action wraps up its first year with this issue, it brings me great pleasure to look back at the hundreds of people the magazine has brought into my life and, through our pages, hopefully into your lives as well.