United Spinal Association members demonstrate that a full, productive, and rewarding life is within the reach of anyone with the strength to believe it and the courage to make it happen. Spinal cord injury may close one chapter of life, but there are new chapters to be written.

After overcoming the extraordinary adversity of spinal cord injury, our members are writing their own chapters. Unwilling to accept the status quo or misconceptions of living as wheelchair users, these individuals embody the spirit of our mission and our vision of greater independence and quality of life for those we serve.

In recognition of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, we’re taking a moment to honor some of the game changers and innovators who make United Spinal’s diverse community truly amazing.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness

Karen Roy, Louisiana
Karen Roy“Yes, I’m in a chair, but I would prefer you see me.”

Jose Hernandez, New York
Jose Hernandez“Focus on your ability and what you can do, and stop focusing on what you cannot do.”

Andrea Dalzell, New York
Andrea Dalzell“I’m out there in the world doing something that someone told me that I couldn’t do. That’s my fuel for the fire.”

Jordan Disbro, Texas
Jordan Disbro“For a while it was so important to me that people knew who I was before and how actively I lived my life, but then I came to realize that people see me as the same whether I’m in a chair or not.”

Erin Gildner, Arkansas
Erin Gildner“I think it’s cool that I get to show people that you can be a participant in your child’s life and do everything that they can, just differently.”

Ed Suhr, Oregon
Ed Suhr“If our communities are going to thrive, everyone needs to contribute in their own way. Sometimes people need to be led along that path.”

Harsh Thakkar,
Washington, DC

Harsh Thakkar“Being a United Spinal member means I can fight the larger fight of helping people with spinal cord injuries and paralysis both in my community and on a national level.”