Monthly Archives: January 2017

Meet Our Gold Sponsor: United Spinal Association

Our Gold sponsor, United Spinal Association, was a major supporter of the Cuba adventure. The
organization’s efforts and talented “New Mobility” team brought the journey directly to the paralysis community through the magazine’s incredible storytelling and reach.


United Spinal Association was founded in 1946 by paralyzed WWII veterans from New York City who were frustrated with the poor treatment they received at the local VA hospital. The organization started as a support group and blossomed into a powerful nationwide network over the years. These men were in essence instrumental founders of the disability rights movement.

Together the United Spinal founders advocated for greater civil rights and independence both for themselves and for fellow veterans, which is a mission that continues till this day. With over 60 local chapters nationwide, United Spinal Association connects people with spinal cord injuries to their peers, helping them engage and learn from one another. United Spinal also offers benefits counseling for veterans through a program called VetsFirst, which also offers a free knowledge library.

Today, United Spinal Association is recognized as the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to helping persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders. Its commitment to providing active-lifestyle information, peer support and advocacy to empower individuals to achieve their highest potential is what makes this organization stand out from the rest.

New Mobility Magazine

In 2010, United Spinal Association acquired New Mobility Magazine, the leading disability lifestyle print magazine in the United States. New Mobility was founded in 1989 by Sam Maddox and has an impressive readership of nearly 20,000, including international subscribers. What makes new mobility unique is that 90 percent of its writers live with disabilities, making its articles real, vibrant and compelling. The magazine is free to United Spinal members (subscribe here).

In August 2016, New Mobility Magazine featured our Cuba adventure, Wheeling in Cuba: 90 Miles Away and a World Apart, making it the cover. You can read the cover story here

Roll on Capitol Hill

For the last six summers in the District of Columbia, United Spinal Association has organized their signature policy event — Roll on Capitol Hill. This five day event brings together many voices from the disability community with the goal of strategically advocating targeted messages to congressional legislators on important disability specific issues. Here is a video from this year’s Roll on Capitol Hill: watch

Learn more about United Spinal Association at

Meet Our Platinum Sponsor: Kennedy Krieger Institute

Our Platinum sponsor and our BIGGEST SUPPORTER that helped make our Cuba adventure a reality is the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the Kennedy Krieger Institute is a world-renowned institution that is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with a wide range of disabilities and disorders, through patient care, special education, research, and professional training. For decades they served only children with disabilities, but in 2005 they opened the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) outpatient program to help adults as well.

Hope Through Motion

The ICSCI rehabilitation center offers a groundbreaking therapy program with a focus on Activity-Based Restorative Therapy, both above and below a person’s level of injury. The program is unlike traditional spinal cord injury therapy models in many ways. Most therapy sessions last 2-4 hours and are customized based on patient goals and the center’s aggressive rehabilitation approach. Patients receive one-on-one care from therapists focused on moving different parts of the paralyzed body with electrical stimulation, innovative robotic technologies and repetitive activity-based methods. Much of the equipment used seems futuristic in its technology. The ICSCI rehabilitation program is truly at the forefront of spinal cord injury rehabilitation and restoration.

Whether someone is stepping or wheeling into the rehabilition gym, the the center’s slogan, ”Hope Through Motion,” creates an atmosphere and energy that surrounds and energizes patients. At the conclusion of a therapy program, therapists provide patients with comprehensive home programs, as well as follow-up and ongoing communication through a special web-based and smartphone app.

To tour the center and for more information, watch this video

Beyond Rehab

All three of the Cuba sailing participants were once patients at the ICSCI and credit the center for recovery of function and improved outlook on life. Kennedy Krieger understands that rehabilitation is just one important part of the puzzle, but that life continues outside of the rehab environment. To promote active, healthy independent lifestyles the ICSCI program also supports adaptive sports and recreational activities. These programs are open to current and former patients, as well as individuals living in the community. To learn more visit

For more information, call 888-923-9222, visit, or email