Let’s Make Some Melodious Sounds

We’ve blogged about music before here at SPINALpedia, but there are always new musicians to profile. So many of us love music and find ingenious ways to create it  after our injuries.

It can be easy to just walk away from the instrument, but don’t fall prey to such an action. Our videos below prove you don’t have to.

All it takes is to realize that it’s not going to be like it used to, and that that’s okay. You can still enjoy making music even if it’s different. You just can’t let your injury or disability take away your love of music, along with so much else.

Check out our three videos below that will certainly inspire you to try to get back into music. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Meaghan Rose Gallagher

Growing up, all Meaghan Rose Gallagher – a fashionista, comic and actress – dreamt about was becoming an actress. She even made it as far as being called back by Juilliard’s drama division, making herself standout among 400 other hopefuls. But the usual path in hitting the big time was not meant for Meaghan. A spinal cord injury would soon have other plans in store.

After her injury however, she refused to let it take her out of the arena of performing. Restructuring her career and becoming a director and comedian instead, read on for the determined and color-coordinated backstory of the flawless Meghan Rose Gallagher. Read this entry

The Ever-So Important Wheelchair Bag

When you become a wheelchair user, there a TON of things you need to get in order to make your everyday wheeling as comfortable and user-friendly as possible. The right seat, the right backrest, the right everything; oh and don’t forget the right wheelchair bag. The tote, the backpack, the purse, whenever you want to call it; having this item is a must.

The able-bodied world may think the topic of a wheelchair bag couldn’t be more boring, but it you use a wheelchair on a daily basis, you know how crazy important this seemingly blah object is. It carries so many important things. Being able to access it, get one without spending a fortune, and making sure it looks pretty cool, are some of the top things you need from a bag.

For some fresh ways to look at the wheelchair bag, from DIY to a clever way to get your bag out from behind you, check out three of some of our best wheelchair bag videos. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: David Constantine

It’s not always easy looking outside yourself. It’s challenge for every human. And when you have a disability, it can be even easier being consumed by your own issues, but none of that stopped David Constantine, MBE (short for “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire don’t ya know).

One of the co-founders of Motivation, he helps run an award-winning charity that creates and donates low-costs wheelchairs to developing countries. And Motivation is no small charity. In 2012 alone, they donated over 26,000 wheelchairs.

Read on to learn more about this fascinating Aussie-Brit quadriplegic who’s dedicated his life to helping others just like him, but are in greater need. Read this entry

Wheelchair Drifting – Turning Lemons Into Awesomeness

Made popular by The Fast and the Furious movies, drifting is the art of your car’s back wheels gliding after gaining momentum. This is done by turning to the side real fast, and it can be pretty awesome to see.

Not surprisingly, wheelchair-users are getting in on the drifting action (it was only a matter of time).

Drifting however is all about surfaces. From blacktop and tile to natural surfaces like ice, how well you drift (and impress everyone around you) is dependent on it. The “vehicle” as well is just as important.

Powerchairs are the  easiest to drift, however I have seen manual chairs drift on ice. Check out our three sweet wheelchair drifting videos below showing how it’s done on all surfaces. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Kristin Duquette

Long before American Paralympian Kristin Duquette became disabled, when she was 6 years old she had a dream – to one day become an Olympic swimmer. Growing up near the ocean in East Hartford, Connecticut, Kristin loved to swim, but her dream was in danger when she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age 9.

Kristin however refused to look at her diagnosis as the nail in the coffin to her swimming career. Despite doctors telling her to not swim to preserve her muscle strength (she was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy that is progressive), she went back into swimming and shocked everyone by showing it’s possible you can get a stronger through training even with progressive muscular dystrophy.

Read on for Kristin’s some awesome story of perseverance, athleticism and her new passion that was ignited while studying at Trinity college – her commitment to making disability rights a true human rights issue. Read this entry

Bring On the Sassy Wheelchair Ladies

Every year young girls who use wheelchairs become the next line of fierce disabled women, and the latest girls to blossom into strong, proud women are making some awesome videos full of spunk and strong opinions; spectacular videos the world needs to see.

From calling out people on things that annoy them to showing some surprising sexuality despite the presence of a wheelchair, here are three fresh videos from female wheelchair-users who show us we have a bright future to look forward to full of strong disabled movers and shakers. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Bob Coomber

When we’re kids a lot of things are ingrained in us. For Bob Coomber, 59, and one of the most prolific wheelchair hikers in the world, he couldn’t shake his love for hiking after becoming a wheelchair-user. Hiking some of the tallest peaks in California is what he’s known for.

While technically Bob doesn’t have a spinal cord injury – he has severe nerve and bone damage to his legs from severe undiagnosed juvenile diabetes (and hasn’t walked since he was 38) – his ability to continue on, hiking as a wheelchair-user and sharing the joy of hiking was other wheelchair-users, makes him a superstar in our book. Read this entry

Wheelchair Curling: Inexpensive Universal Fun

If you love hanging out in freezing ice arenas and are a sucker for competition at a very precise level, you can’t get any better than wheelchair curling. When it comes to adapted sports, this is one of the most inexpensive ones you can play. You don’t need a special chair, which is awesome. All you need is a modified stick, a stone, a few willing partners and some ice time.

And with the Sochi Winter Paralympics about to arrive (63 days away!), the wheelchair curlers of the world are gearing up. Canada remains one of the most prolific wheelchair curling teams in the mix, however the Russians aren’t too shabby either. And all levels of ability can play; from quads to paras, and both females and males are on each team.

If you have no idea how wheelchair curling is played and finally want to be enlightened on this insanely popular sport, check out our three videos. Read more