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

Justina Plowden

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 and laughing with family and friends not knowing that later that day, myself and my daughter along with three others would get into a horrific car accident.

I broke my neck which left me paralyzed with a spinal cord injury. I could not move or speak. I was hospitalized for 5 months, in which I was in the intensive care unit majority of my time there.

For the first couple of months I was never aware of the how severe I was injured. Everyday you are being told things like “ Your will never walk or be able to do anything again.” I never once believed any of that and I still today. I had to relearn everything and I never stop believing in in myself.

I had no knowledge of what a spinal cord injury was until it happened to me so I educated myself on everything about living with paralysis and anything that I know would allow me help myself. I also learned that most people didn’t know and fully understand how serious this injury was and could also be.

The more I attended support groups and talked to other people with or without a SCI, the more I understood that I had to become more involved and help others as well as myself. I not only was able to help those around me become as knowledgeable about the injury as they could, but I also became an advocate in which I can reach those outside of my living area.

I believe com­ing together to show support to one another will help make a huge difference in the disabled community. I believe that encouragement and positivity to not let anything stop me from living life and continuing to reach my life goals are what contributed my progress.

Being a mother and having a supportive family has a huge effect as well! I wake up everyday as I still do now, knowing I have daughter who depends on me! I was motivated to go back and finish a few courses in college.

I also mentor a few friends I’ve made in my community that are disabled. I encourage them to not let their disability stop them from living a fulfilling life.

As I continue my advoca­cy to empower the disabled, I myself will never stop fighting to live an independent positive life with my beautiful daughter.

I have goals in life and I am still able to obtain them and be happy. I never give up and what I would like for others to take from my story is just that, always believe in yourself!

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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...

Eden Hoelscher
SCI Heroes

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...

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....

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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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