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

Ronald Opp

In 2005, three days after my 17th birthday I was in a rollover motor vehicle accident and ended up paralyzed from T4 down.

Since then I have graduated high school, went to college – which was difficult with my injury being so new and only being 18 years old at the time of going to college. I was not able to keep up and then I spent a couple years trying to just survive, than I got into dispatching for a little bit and I loved helping people but I had no vehicle to get to and from work consistently, that plus all the medical things I was dealing with made it difficult to keep the job.

I then continued to try and live until 2015 when I got a job dispatching in eastern Oklahoma for a year. After that year I wanted more for myself so I decided to go back to school online and I spent the next four years completing two bachelors degrees.

I graduated the same year COVID hit and have been job searching since with no luck. I would prefer remote but I will take what I can get. I have been trying everything I can to get on my feet and make a life but I keep getting knocked down at every turn and getting no help and I do not know what to do anymore.

I need help in every way, everything I look up either requires that I would need to have a developmental disability, be a veteran or I would need to be way more disabled than being just paralyzed from my pecks down.

I want to be a productive member of society and have a job and have my own things, but where I live right now will not let me do that and I have no way to get out of here. I want to show people that someone in a chair is just as capable as they are and to show kids and other people with disabilities that anything is possible.

I am looking for a vehicle that is reliable and has air conditioning so I don’t almost die every time I need to go somewhere, and finances. If I could get to where I want to live and get a place, that would allow me to get set up so I can actually have an opportunity to have a life, career, and future. 

If I stay where I am my life is going to be staring at the same four walls for as long as I am alive. I am drowning and I am trying to grab for anything I can to stay afloat. I need as much help as possible and I do not know where to turn.

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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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