Would you like to join Team SPINALpedia?
SPINALpedia is seeking spinal cord injury community members - either those injured themselves or individuals who know someone with an injury - that would like to become an official Ambassador of our site.
If interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you'd be a great Ambassador for SPINALpedia.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
**All future Ambassadors will be highlighted on this page and will receive the following Ambassador Badge:**
Sana Khurshid is a C4-5 quadriplegic from Pakistan.
A second is all it takes to turn your life around! I was a 17 year old first year medical student on way to fulfilling a dream of becoming a doctor, basking in the attention being bestowed from every corner and generally high on life when a car accident robbed me of myself, my dreams.....everything! I was on the motorway when the tire of our car burst. The driver applied the brakes which made the car flip over.
I felt so self-conscious when I sat in my chair because they had to tie me to it with a belt because I couldn’t hold my body. My hands used to be in splints. My friends came to see me but it was not the same. Life was passing me by and nothing in this situation was my fault! That was the darkest period of my life. It is said that when you hit rock bottom the only way is to go up. Even though my body was broken and felt alien to me, my mind was mine to command.
I started physiotherapy. I started my studies again, enrolling myself in LLB. I’ve done a post graduate diploma in Human Rights. Currently I am doing my LLM in Dispute Resolution. My injury has taught me a lot. I think it has made me a better person or at least made me realize that I need to become one! It has taught me humility, sensitivity, it has made me more understanding, taught me to be non-judgemental! It has made me realize what matters in life. What to let go off and what things to hold on too.
As Nelson Mandela said: Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again!"
Follow Sana on Instagram at @sanak.22
Andrea Peruzzi, along with her partner Riley Poor run the lifestyle blog, Poor House Love. Andrea’s writings focus on all thing love and lifestyle, with a particular aim to normalize disability within the context of romantic relationships. Because Riley is quadriplegic, Poor House Love examines all things spinal cord injury. Andrea has a professional background in natural health and Chinese medicine and lives to integrate this background into her writings.
Facebook and Instagram: @poorhouselove
My name is Diana. I’m a 35 year old from Kingston, GA. I have chairi malformation and intracranial hypertension. In May 2016, I was getting surgery for one of my brain conditions. I had a spinal stroke during surgery. I woke up a paraplegic and paralyzed from the chest down. I had just turned 33. I was devestated. At the time, I had a 13 year old and a 11 year old. Since the stroke I have been on a journey to finding myself. I have met some amazing caregivers, doctors, nurses and friends along the way. I would love to be an Ambassador and help others through this transition period. A spinal stroke paralyzed me, but I’m not gonnna let it take my joy.
Contact Diana: email@example.com
My name is Michael Humel and I am a 40 year old man from Long Island, New York. I have had approximately 30 surgeries most of them on my legs. When I was 10 years old until the age of 19 I started competing in the New York State Games For The Physically Challenged. I competed in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter wheelchair races. I also competed in the 25 meter freestyle swimming. When I was 10 years old I also started playing wheelchair basketball which I still play to this day. Playing sports is a great way to learn competition, camaraderie and sportsmanship. Recently I started WheelsNWarriors. My purpose in life is to change the way people think about interact with and perceive disabled people and people who are different from themselves.
--- Follow him on Facebook: Wheels and Warriors
My name is Mason Ellis and I was involved in a vehicle accident on January 19, 2015 when I was 17 years old. I sustained a Spinal Cord Injury at C5, C6, and C7 that resulted in me becoming a complete C5 quadriplegic. After not finding the information that I was looking for online about how to live life with a Spinal Cord Injury, I decided to figure things out on my own. In June of 2016, I started uploading videos on YouTube to help others with Spinal Cord Injuries as well as inspire able-bodied individuals. My goal is to decrease the learning curve of how to live life after a Spinal Cord Injury and show that life is still enjoyable with a disability.
Youtube channel: www.YouTube.com/MasonEllis011915
Twitter and Instagram: @masonx54
Just to start, I'm awesome! My name is Antonia Sinibaldi and I'm from New Jersey. I'm a C2-5 incomplete quadriplegic. I've been paralyzed for as long as I can remember. On October 24th, 1999 my mom, dad and I were coming back from an outing in Pennsylvania when our car was hit by a drunk driver on his way back from a football game. Ever since that day I can not eat, drink or even breathe on my own without the assistance of others or a ventilator. But outside of the nuances that make my life difficult for simple tasks, it never slowed me down. I am currently attending Marymount Manhattan College, I sing, dance, act, oh and I wrote a book.
Facebook: Antonia Sinibaldi
YouTube: Antonia Sinibaldi
Rachel Malone is a lifelong paraplegic from rural midwestern USA. Her college educational background is in photography, travel & hospitality. Rachel has had the unique opportunity to travel to more than a dozen countries, including being chosen as a recipient of an Access The World Scholarship, which she used to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
Rachel has attended training camp in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. She is now currently pursuing her dream of participating in the Paralympics as an air rifle shooter. Rachel also currently is working toward ADA coordinator certification, and further becoming involved with CERT training to help people with disabilities in crisis. She also started a travel blog this year and a website to sell her travel photos. She hopes to begin an online travel show, highlighting various places, and the access for people with disabilities showing them the rewards in the risks of traveling. Rachel also hopes to use it for highlighting entrepreneurs in the disability community, those who are giving people with disabilities opportunity, and products that are able to help those with disabilities travel. Please contact her with any collaboration ideas.
Injured in a shooting in high school at the age of 17, Garrison Redd is a motivational/TEDx speaker, model, athlete/Paralympian, entrepreneur and advocate for equal rights. He founded an organization called “TheGarrisonReddProject” with a goal of bettering the well-being of disabled individuals through a variety of methods. They provide free resources and services in the areas of advice, motivation, inspiration, health and other areas to improve the quality of living for disabled individuals.
After his injury, he says he felt inspired right away to move forward with his life. "Most people would’ve felt that their life was coming to an end however, I felt like my life was just beginning. At 17 years old after this catastrophic injury had occurred to me, I wasn’t discouraged, because it made me into a different man," he says.
He went on to receive his BA in Finance and is currently training for Team USA Para Powerlifting Team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. "I made Team USA in Para-Powerlifting in February of 2019 with a qualifying lift of 273 pounds weighing 126 pounds in which I was selected to compete in Kazakhstan in July at the Para-Powerlifting World Championships and Peru in August at the Para-Pan Games.
He also did a TEDx talk titled “Life is like Lemonade," where he discusses some of the adversities he faced on his journey to success. Watch here