The U.S. Senate has designated September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Every 48 minutes someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.
Approximately 1.3 million individuals in the United States live with a spinal cord injury and millions of people worldwide are living with paralysis.
Prevention is the only cure for spinal cord injuries.
An alarming number of brain and spinal cord injuries result from vehicular crashes, domestic violence, attempted suicide and other unintentional traumas on the Navajo Nation, which spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Eve’s Fund, through our ThinkFirst Navajo Program, has addressed these statistics since 2005—and provided education to prevent fatal and disabling injuries among Navajo children and teens.
To reach Navajo youth in grades K-12, we give free presentations across the Navajo Reservation. We owe much of the success of our program to our dedicated VIPs (Voices for Injury Prevention), all of whom are Native adults with paralysis. They understand their culture and are willing to openly share their personal stories of how they became paralyzed. VIPs are joined by trained Health Educators who round out the presentations using an age-appropriate, science-based curriculum
Our VIP speakers, all of whom reside on or adjacent to the Navajo Reservation, not only live with the daily challenges of their paralysis, but face many problems associated with low incomes, isolation in rural areas, inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of access to quality health care and other resources, and frequent hospitalizations. We believe that their work with ThinkFirst Navajo, combined with the group support and peer mentoring we provide, has aided in improving their overall quality of life and well-being.
September should not only a month to increase awareness of spinal cord injuries, but a time to celebrate and support the strong, able, courageous, motivated, brave and inspiring people living with spinal cord injuries. They are true heroes.
Here are some spinal cord injury awareness facts provided by the United Spinal Association:
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an injury to the spinal cord that results in temporary or permanent changes in the spinal cord’s normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function. People who sustain a spinal cord injury often have permanent and profound neurologic deficits and accompanying paralysis.
- There are approximately 17,500 new SCI cases in the U.S. each year.
- The average age at injury has increased from 29 years during the 1970s to 42 years currently.
- Males account for about 81% of new SCI cases.
- Vehicle crashes are currently the leading cause of SCI (38.4%), followed by falls, acts of violence, and sports/recreation activities.
- About 30% of people with SCI are re-hospitalized one or more times during any given year following injury.
- SCI costs roughly $40.5 billion annually
You can learn more about our award winning injury prevention program at: http://evecrowellsfund.org/programs/thinkfirst-navajo/
Our presentations are offered free of charge to schools, chapter houses, at youth conferences, health fairs and other venues on and near the Navajo Nation. To book a presentation and for more information on how you can save a young Native child’s life, please contact our chapter director, Jodee Dennison through out website at: http://evecrowellsfund.org/contact-us/
We rely on support from individual donors to help fund our programs. Please consider making a donation today so we can continue to teach young Native children how to “use their minds to protect their bodies.” Please click the Donate button below to help.
Please help us reduce brain and spinal cord injuries among young Navajo people by sharing this message.