Where this occasional contrarian, freethinker and all around opinionated sob rumbles on about just about everything under the sun from the movies to art, culture, literature, politics, science, history, blogging, the web, web design, maybe even friends and family and current affairs. (And then some) And if you flatter me a bit, I may even claim to have all the answers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

There is a brandnew petition in support of raising awareneness of spinal cord injury and paralysis issues at the highest levels of government.

This petition, started by a very good friend of mine a short while ago and the founder of STEPNOW and a new FACEBOOK petition group has been making the rounds on the internet lately.

I myself am a paraplegic of three and a half years due to an accident that could happen to anybody, could happen to your child, sister, brother mother, father, ... I think you get the picture. The happy picture of the disabled life that the public usually gets to see is one of happy paralympians winning medals and people being engaged in all manner of disabled sports, disabled this and disabled that and the implication that we are really not any different from able bodied people. BUT THE PAINFUL TRUTH IS: WE ARE DIFFERENT. Our lives are not, I REPEAT: NOT THE SAME. I should know; I have been on both sides of the divide.

I have lost two very dear friends (both paraplegics) who have committed suicide because they could not deal with the pain (both physical and otherwise), the huge sense of loss and the bouts of depression any more. Matt and Clayton, this post and statement is dedicated to your memory.

It is high time the worldwide media stopped telling what I would call "THE BIG LIE" by highlighting the "sexy" parts of the disabled life and completely ignoring the dark, ugly, debilitating underbelly of the disabled lifestyle that includes such unpleasant things as depression, infections, skin break down, a diminished social life, social isolation and bowl and bladder movements "gone wrong". I could go on and on and on.

Scientists that work in the field of neuroscience and spinal cord research now know that a cure for spinal cord injury is possible. In light of these new findings and the fact that the pressing issues of accessibility and equality in the workplace, etc have been largely accomplished, it is of the utmost importance that a paradigm shift occur. By that I mean that the disabled community must now shift it's advocacy away from the old accessibility and "equality" issues that seemed to imply in the minds of the general public that we had accepted our disabled fate and focus instead wholeheartedly on advocating for a possible cure.

I would urge all of you to sign this petition if you suffer from paralysis or have a friend or member of your family that does; or simply because you feel it's the right thing to do and freedom from paralysis is a human rights issue.

Thank you.

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