31 December 2017

Wishing you all a "Cureful" New Year!

As we're about to start 2018, I'd like to send you all a quick message saying thank you for all your support over the years. This blog has had it's ups and downs, mostly based on my health, but I thank the regular readers for your encouragement over the years.

The blog started in 2010 and even though I'm still writing about the search for a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and I am still hopeful that a cure will be found. Some say that even if a cure can't help them because they've been injured for so long, they hope that it will help others. This is very  noble, but while I want a cure for all, I still have hope that I too will be included in this cure.

21 December 2017

We need more info about BBS return and epidural stimulation

Hello everyone. I've spent the past weeks trying to craft together some questions about BBS (bladder, bowel, sexual function) return to ask to Dr Susan Harkema's team involved in epidural stimulation trials. My time was not only spent writing, but consulting with other activists in the community as I wanted to make sure that my questions were both correct and fair. 

As you may know, the trial, with many sponsors including CDRF (Christopher and Donna Reeve Foundation), and marketed under the BigIdea (which I think is wonderful marketing) has produced two papers and has put out some information about BBS return. 

See the last two posts for more information about the trials and my interest in them.

09 December 2017

"An unexpected success story". Really? I'd like more info. PART II

Just so you know, this post is Part II. If you haven't yet read it, Part I is here.

It took me a little time to get back to Part II as I've been waiting on some information. It hasn't all arrived yet, but I figure I'll get down what information I can now.

Sine it's been a few weeks I'll make a short round up of Part I...
  • Epidural stimulation trials on standing and stepping at the University of Louisville, supported by the Christopher & Donna Reeve Foundation (CDRF), receive new press attention after the lead researcher Susan Harkema published a paper with her results.
  • But more importantly, already as early as October 2014 (and probably before that too), the CDRF website reported that, "Even more surprisingly, all four participants experienced significant improvements in autonomic functions, including bladder, bowel and sexual function, as well as temperature regulation."

14 November 2017

"An unexpected success story". Really? I'd like more info. PART I

This is a story about BBS (bladder, bowel, and sexual function) return, but you'll have to stay with me a bit to follow.

I was pleased to read the following stories in Newsweek (Paralysed man surprises scientists by standing and moving on his own) and Science Daily (Individual with complete spinal cord injury regains voluntary motor function). Very short summary; extended activity-based training with epidural stimulation resulted in the ability for a man with a complete spinal cord injury to stand and move without stimulation six years post injury. The study was done at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and funded by CDRF (Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation), and others through their Big Idea project.

04 November 2017

Help Wanted! Curing paralysis together

Hello. I'm now currently working on the next blog article, it's about peeing and other things that many of us with a screwed up spinal cord can't do so well.

I've been in touch with some interesting people who are helping me understand some facts for the next article, so please hold on about a week or so.

In the meantime, I'm always looking for help in running this blog, in fact, I'm even considering changing it over to a podcast or even a vlog. 

22 October 2017

Private vs Public money in the race to cure paralysis

click HERE to enlarge
See, I'm back for the second post since my return, and maybe today I'm going to raise some controversy.

Did you have a chance to read the last post and it's link to "Tequila Shots for Cirrhosis Research"?

Before I become controversial, I want to write a disclaimer...

  • I appreciate all the private funds that have gone to curing paralysis.
  • I appreciate all the private efforts individuals have made to cycle, and wheel, and run, and walk to raise money to cure paralysis.
  • I thank you because for now, raising private funds is one way that we can work to cure paralysis.
But, is private charity the best way to fund medical research?

I often link to "Tequila Shots for Cirrhosis Research". Simply put, it's the story of Rick Hansen and his goal to wheel across the world to raise money for SCI research. This was just after Terry Fox and from a young age is what made me conscious of the idea of doing something extraordinary to raise funds from private individuals for medical research. 

14 October 2017

Get the shot glasses out...I'm back

It feels that I have announced my return so many times that people might actually doubt whether I'm really back for good. Well, I guess work will be the only way to prove that, not only to others, but to myself too.

 We all know that paralysis prevents movement, but I think many people in the able bodied community don't know what other things paralysis does. For one, it kills, both literally and figuratively. It kills body as well as soul with it a crushing of hope.

I know; I was a victim of the "other stuff paralysis does", namely bone crunching pain. My life moved from fighting for a cure for paralysis to trying to defend my self full time from the pain it brought. I like to consider myself and strong person and I hate to feel like a victim, but I must bow to it; paralysis made me a victim of its terrifying secondary conditions and blacked out 6 years of my life.  Not to go into great detail on this first post back, I think I have the pain part under control enough to go back to the cure part,  but as a hint, it wasn't mind over matter or positive thinking, it was medical technology (and of course your thoughts and prayers gave me the impetus to keep searching for an exit out of hell).