In the U.S., there are more than 250,000 people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). In 2009, it was reported that more than 42,000 veterans had an SCI. In order to raise awareness of this issue, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation created the Military and Veterans Program (MVP). Learn more about this issue and the work the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation are doing below.
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What is a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that can either result in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord. An SCI is more common in men and young adults and there are about 12,000 new cases of SCI each year. SCI results in a decreased or absence of movement, sensation, and body organ function below the level of the injury. The most common sites of injury are the cervical and thoracic areas. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability and death in children and adults.
About Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. They meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3002).
The Reeve Foundation Military & Veterans Program
The Reeve Foundation’s Military & Veterans Program extends expertise in spinal cord injury and paralysis to include resources and community connections for service men and women, as well as veterans living with paralysis, whether through combat-related, service-related, or non-service-related events. With a wide array of information and expertise, the MVP can help devise a personalized plan to get veterans back into their community and back to a place of well-being.
The two primary resources available include medical and quality of life, which mean:
- Medical information – Hospitals, rehabilitation, and equipment
- Military benefits – Medicare, Medicaid, and more
- Civilian programs – Medical options outside military programs
- Basic care – Personal health and care information
Quality of life resources
- Peer mentoring and support – Emotional encouragement specific to military needs
- Local resources – Social and recreation opportunities in your area
- Caregiver resources – Retreats, kids camps, and support services
- Quality of Life grants – Awarded to programs that support veterans
Take advantage of the resources offered by the Reeve Foundation. To start, contact them today at military@ChristopherReeve.org or 1-866-962-8387.