Walking with Anthony

SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS MONTH

INTRODUCING SCI HEROES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

This September, we aim to raise SCI awareness by sharing 30 different stories from 30 individuals with SCI, highlighting their tragedies and triumphs each day on our social channels and website. Walking With Anthony receives thousands of grant applications every year from individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in desperate need of help. Each story has the same underlying theme: these brave heroes need mental, physical, and financial guidance and support. 

SCI HERO

Eden Hoelscher

Eden Hoelscher

On December 23, 2015, our five-year-old daughter, Eden, collapsed on the ground after doing a backbend on our living room floor. Within 30 minutes, she was paralyzed from the waist down. She was rushed by helicopter from our local hospital to the PICU where she was diagnosed as a complete paraplegic because of a spinal cord stroke at T8/9. After 2 months of inpatient rehab, she was discharged with the dire prognosis that she would never recover, and that we should prepare for a very difficult life ahead.

Our family wasn’t prepared to accept that prognosis and began researching therapy centers that believed in recovery and offered hope to families like ours. In April of 2016, we went to Louisville, Kentucky to attend the 3-month pediatric program at Frazier Rehab. Within days Eden began to make positive strides. Within weeks, she was taking steps while being supported and assisted. When we saw the amazing recovery Eden made, we knew we couldn’t go back home to California, and we moved to Louisville full time. This came as a surprise to the director of the program because their program was specifically for “episodes of care” and not full-time therapy. But as parents, we knew we had to fight for the life that Eden deserved.

Eden has been doing therapy 5 days a week for 6 years now, and she now functions at a T12 level. When she was first injured, she couldn’t lift both her hands off the ground without falling over. With hard work, dedication, and access to cutting-edge therapy, she rides horses, plays tennis, rock climbs, and is a part of her school’s archery team. She is fully independent and thrives along her able-bodied peers.

She uses Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) and when it’s turned on, her legs lift, her feet move, and her muscles contract. That means that her spinal cord is still very much functioning, still able to transmit messages from her brain to her body, which we’d been told was impossible. Every day Eden invalidates the old SCI theories and proves that recovery IS possible.

A spinal cord injury diagnosis is devastating. An SCI affects EVERY part of your body—every organ, every system. But there is hope. Recovery is possible. And, most importantly, there IS a cure out there. We just need to find it. Our family will not give up the fight until we do.

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More SCI Heroes

Please share these stories during the month of September to help us raise awareness for spinal cord injury:

Rhonda Williams
SCI Heroes

Rhonda Williams

I am a C5 C6 quadriplegic who had a car accident when I was 16 in 1989 in Virginia. Through the many years of living as a quadriplegic I have had ebbs and flows. I met my husband while living in...

David Wieselmann
SCI Heroes

David Wieselmann

I was Mt. Biking with friends up in Vermont after work. We were cutting down a hill at the very end of run, and my front wheel sunk in some soft dirt. I went over the handlebars and did a...

Stephanie Nichols-Rodas
SCI Heroes

Stephanie Nichols-Rodas

I had a car accident May 6th,2017, early in the morning on my way to work. Another car was going to hit me, so I swerved and hit a concrete median while merging on to the freeway. I flipped 3...

Rebecca Koltun
SCI Heroes

Rebecca Koltun

On March 13, 2021, I was skiing with some friends in Vermont. While I do not recall the day itself, I was told that I had a very bad fall. I woke up in a hospital in New Hampshire, paralyzed from...

Rob Balucas
SCI Heroes

Rob Balucas

hey, i’m rob This part of my story starts in 2015. That year was a shaping up to be a breakout year for my business and me. My business, a boutique creative agency, was on track to grow by 12%...

Stevie VanAusdale
SCI Heroes

Stevie VanAusdale

I was in a car accident the summer going into my junior year of high school. I was with 4 friends. We made the poor choice of throwing water bottles at other cars, which caused one car to chase...

Casey Ellin
SCI Heroes

Casey Ellin

On June 1st, 2013, when Casey was only 26 years old, he had an accident at Jones Beach that forever changed his life. After diving into the ocean, he fractured his C4 – C6 vertebrae, leaving him...

Michael Kim
SCI Heroes

Michael Kim

38 years old father of two young children, PARALYZED. This fund is set up for Mike's family during a time of incredible heartache, to help them navigate a long road of recovery and treatment....

Anne Nelson
SCI Heroes

Anne Nelson

I was a passenger in a car accident. After emergency personnel rescued me from the car I was taken to Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, AL where emergency surgery was done to stabilize my spine....

Justina Plowden
SCI Heroes

Justina Plowden

My life as I knew it changed forever in only a split second. It was a beautiful day and everyone I encountered that day were great spirits and everything felt perfect. I can only remember smiling...

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DISCLAIMER:

Walking With Anthony receives thousands of grant applications every year from individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in desperate need of help. Although we are not able to directly support every individual, for your participation you will receive valuable resources regarding mentorship, mental health, community, advice, and education to help you on your SCI journey. 30 stories will be chosen to share on social media, and those individuals will also receive $200 of wellness supplements to aid in their recovery.

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