Tag Archives: adapting to a spinal cord injury

No More Wheelchairs?

Thank you to Jennifer Gorman, content producer at The Mobility Resource for sharing our latest guest post!

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When I was a young adult, I knew this neat old couple who in their sweet earnestness would tell me, “I’m praying for you.  I pray that you can be healed.” Thus saying one day I wouldn’t need a wheelchair anymore.

What do you dream about?

I knew their hearts were pure.

Most people gag me when they talk like that. But if you knew Mrs. Rowland, you’d think she was the sweetest thing since apple pie.

So I would just smile and say thank you, then think to myself, in our dreams.

Later in life, as I thought about Mrs. Rowland, it got me thinking, “What would life be like without a wheelchair or more importantly a wheelchair van?”

I knew there had to be others pondering the same question. So I plugged a few keywords into Google.

To my surprise, I came across a song titled No More Wheelchairs.  And I thought to myself, “Oh, here we go.”

I hit play anyway and was punched immediately.  The tune is not only catchy, but also soothing and clear, just enough tempo to have you tapping your toes, your fingers or your nose—whatever it is you can tap.  It’s so catchy, I had to share it with the world.

No More Wheelchairs” by Daryl Holmlund, isn’t a protest song or a pity party. Instead, it’s a song describing a dream world in which wheelchairs simply aren’t necessary.

After suffering a spinal-cord injury in a 2004 car accident, Holmlund was inspired by Sunday school kids at his church who tried to cheer him.

“They prayed for me and drew me a picture,” he said. “At the bottom, they wrote, Daroll Homelanand – Good Player Guirtar – No More Wheelchores .”

Here’s an excerpt:

When I am deep asleep
sometimes I dream of doing things
that I can’t normally do:
Running, climbing,
jumping, flying –
and sometimes I’m dancing with you.
But no dream ever compares
to when I dream that there are no more wheelchairs!

Despite the daydream he depicts in the song, Holmlund says he never thinks about what life could be like, because he’s too busy living it. He’s a high school teacher in South Central Los Angeles. Most of his students are minorities in low-income households.

“I think it’s a benefit for them to interact with someone who is very different,” Holmlund said. “They’re not used to seeing someone who has a disability and is out and about and that is a positive.”

“Other students with disabilities will sometimes come and hang out in my classroom,” he added. “When I first started, a student in a wheelchair looked at me for a second and said. “Wanna race?’ I said, ‘You’re on, let’s go!”

Holmlund recorded the song on his MacBook Pro, and his brother produced the video.

“He does Internet marketing and he said ‘I love this song!’ so he put together a collage of people inspired by the song.”

I love the song.  So much so, that as I’m writing this I had to turn it on again. It’s really difficult to depict my favorite part of the song. The song is so creative and thoughtful; I refuse to file it under “Just another inspirational disability song.”

A Few Favorite Lines:

Missing limbs are regrown,
spinal-cord patches are sown,
and everyone walks on their own feet.
New legs for Lieutenant Dan (Forrest Gump anyone?)
and Chris Reeve is still Superman!

The video is available along with others on Holmlund’s YouTube channel.

No More Wheelchairs Music Video

He also performed for several years with a band called Sauni’s Big Jump. The group has released two albums; Anything Can Happen and Electronic Christmas, and an EP called Open Road.

His music is available for purchase at www.saunisbigjump.com, iTunes and other digital outlets.

Anything Can Happen was inspired right after my accident,” Holmlund said. “I was processing a lot of life changes.”

Holmlund doesn’t have a lot of time to make music during the school year, he said, but “I’m always playing recreationally. I’m almost certain I’ll make more music in the future.”

He acknowledges that entertainers with disabilities have become more prominent, citing the movie Avatarand the TV shows Glee and The Glee Project.

“People with disabilities are often seen as a forgotten segment or are stereotyped,” Holmlund said. “Those stereotypes can be broken, but you don’t see a lot of musicians out there with permanent disabilities.”

It was really important to him to be totally independent and to have insurance due to his disability; and that can’t happen right now playing music.

Holmlund doesn’t see his own future as having no more wheelchairs and he’s at peace with that reality.

“I have some friends that do a lot of rehab and try to walk again,” he said. “My goal is to make the world a more beautiful place, where everyone can get around easier and have access to good education and possibilities.”

Daryl Holmlund

“I don’t just want the world to be a better place for me,” Holmlund added. “I’d like to see better access to what people need to be successful. Even though independence wouldn’t be through making music, I’m very passionate about teaching.”

Music and Lyrics provided by Daryl Holmlund

What is in your dream?

Contact Jennifer Gorman of The Mobility Resource and let her know!

Click here for the original post.

Tee Off with Taliaferro and Magee Rehabilitation!

If you’re in the Philadelphia area check out this great upcoming event!

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and Adam Taliaferro Foundation Tee Off for 2nd Annual Fundraiser

Proceeds from the outing benefit spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation and quality of life programs

PHILADELPHIA, PA— Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and the Adam Taliaferro Foundation will partner once again to present the 2nd
Annual Adam Taliaferro Foundation & Magee Rehabilitation Golf Outing on Monday, October 22, 2012 at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. Proceeds from the golf outing will benefit spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation and quality of life programs supported by both Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and the Adam Taliaferro Foundation.
“As someone who has faced a spinal cord injury, I can tell you that the difference between surviving and thriving is support,” said Adam Taliaferro, founder of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation and former patient of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. “The Golf Outing is my way of giving back, of bolstering the research, rehab and programs that helped me, to ensure all people with spinal cord injuries have the same opportunities that made my recovery so successful.”

A cornerback for Penn State University, Adam sustained a spinal cord injury on the football field in 2000 while making a clean hit in a game against Ohio State. Told by doctors he may never walk again, Adam came to Magee for his rehabilitation and walked out of the hospital just months later. He founded the Adam Taliaferro Foundation to provide emotional, financial and educational support to individuals who have sustained a catastrophic head or spinal cord injury in sanctioned team events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware. “Adam Taliaferro is a prime example of how hard work, determination, top-quality therapy and steadfast support can lead to a recovery that exceeds expectations,” said Dr. Jack Carroll, President and CEO of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. “We are grateful to Adam and the Adam Taliaferro Foundation for their dedication to the support of people with disabilities, and are extremely proud to partner with them for this annual event.”

The 2nd Annual Adam Taliaferro Foundation & Magee Rehabilitation Golf Outing begins with registration and breakfast at 10 a.m. and tee-off at 11:30 a.m. The event includes brunch, golf, a cocktail hour with grand hors d’oeuvres, and live and silent auctions. To participate in the golf outing or to obtain more information about sponsorships, please contact the Magee Development Office at (215) 587-3090 or contact Gus Ostrum, Adam Taliaferro Foundation, at (609) 502-0424 or ostrumg@yahoo.com.

See more of Adam’s story here: http://bit.ly/WtY4Q8

###About Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, a founding member of the Jefferson Health System and part of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of Delaware Valley and a model center for spinal cord injury, is the Philadelphia region’s original provider of physical and cognitive rehabilitation. The not-for-profit health organization provides lifetime rehabilitation and wellness programs for individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation, orthopedic injury, geriatric illness or work injury.