Bert Burns’ Involvement With Onsite LASCI Programs

Editor’s Note: Bert Burns, one of the owners of UroMed, was hit by a drunk driver in January of 1982 and thrown out of his car. At the time, Burns was a college student majoring in business at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. After the accident, doctors discovered that his neck was broken at vertebrae C6 and C7, leaving him paralyzed and in a wheelchair. He said that after his injury, he, “had some great therapists, and one of them got me involved in wheelchair sports. She completely changed my life. I thought sports were over for me. When I was discharged, I wanted to affect people positively and give the gift of sports to others with spinal cord injuries. I transferred to the University of Florida to major in recreation therapy.” Part 2 of a 5 part series.

Onsite LASCI is when I go out to different groups and speak to try and answer questions in person about life after spinal cord injuries. I’ll often get asked to talk to a support group, like the one in Baltimore, Maryland, that meets once a month at the city’s main rehab center. Most rehab hospitals across the nation foster a support group like the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, or Brooks Rehab Center in Jacksonville, Florida. People come to these support groups and learn from each other and from speakers who are brought in about all the many things they can do. I’m only one of the many speakers who come in and talk to these support groups.

Bert speaks to groups of individuals who are newly injured so they can see that their futures are bright.

Bert speaks to groups of individuals who are newly injured so they can see that their futures are bright.

I’ve learned from my sports background that being competitive in sports enables me to be a better competitor in business. Business is a team sport, and there are a lot of ups and downs in the business world. By playing quad rugby, I’ve learned how to work with a team, how to get back up after being knocked down and how to set a goal and achieve it. I share what I’ve learned on LASCI and also when I speak at events with support groups. When friends and therapists tell people in wheelchairs, “Don’t give up; you can be whatever you want to be,” often the first thought in a wheelchair patient’s mind is, “You don’t understand. You can be all you want to be because you’re a able bodied person. But I’m in a wheelchair.” So, oftentimes there is a disconnect between the family, the physical therapist, the doctors and the patient.

However, when these other people in wheelchairs see me come rolling into their support group, and I tell them they can be anything they want to be, because I’ve been there and done that and have achieved many of my life dreams, they realize they can too. When they see and hear me speak, and I explain how I’ve become a successful athlete and businessman and tell them that they can too, then they’ll get hope from a person who’s started off just like they are.  I hope they say, “If  Bert Burns has done that, maybe I can too.”

Bert wants people to tell themselves, "If Bert Burns can do it, so can I!"

Bert wants people to tell themselves, "If Bert Burns can do it, so can I!"

Most of the people I talk to are lower level injuries than I am and not as disabled as I am, and they’ll say, “Wow, you’re more disabled than I am, you’ve been highly successful. You’ve told me that the doors to success are open for me just like it was for you. So, my life can continue on, and I can be successful.” I encourage them to try and make the best of the situation they’re in today.

 I think that most people can do anything they want to in life, if they…
* have people who help them and encourage them;
* realize that whatever their problems are, they can overcome them;
* try to do whatever they wish to accomplish, no matter whether anyone else ever has done that.

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people will boost your self esteem!

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people will boost your self esteem!

I get a lot of feedback from my able bodied friends who say, “Bert, the principles you teach about overcoming are applicable to able bodied individuals as well as people in wheelchairs. When we see you in a wheelchair and learn about all the obstacles that have been put in your life that you’ve had to overcome to be successful, and we look at our problems, we realize that we don’t have nearly as great challenges to be successful as you’ve had. And even though you’re in a wheelchair, you’ve been a world class athlete, an entrepreneur and a successful businessman. We can see that your philosophy of life and the goals and principles that you teach empowers us as much as they do the individuals you talk to in wheelchairs.” One thing I’ve learned is that the principles of success don’t only apply to persons in wheelchairs but to everyone.

Learn more about LASCI’s online and onsite events at www.facebook.com/LASCIonline.

Next: The Future of LASCI, Onsite and Online with Bert Burns

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

One Response to Bert Burns’ Involvement With Onsite LASCI Programs

  1. Pingback: Bert Burns’ Academic And Athletic Accomplishments After His Injury « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

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