The Top 10 LASCI Community Events of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to wrap up this season of giving by sharing the top ten ways that Life After Spinal Cord Injury [LASCI] has given back throughout the year to the spinal cord injury, spina bifida and physical rehabilitation communities that we continually support and serve. burtspeaking_jpg_w300h387

Many of the highlights below feature LASCI founder Bert Burns because he travels the country throughout the year as LASCI’s ambassador, delivering motivational talks for newly-injured patients at rehab centers and peer support programs nationwide. Bert also participates in local events all over the country to benefit non-profit organizations that we view as community partners and friends.

All of LASCI’s events, outreach efforts, free giveaways and online programs are financially supported by UroMed, one of the nation’s largest urology supply companies. LASCI is the main charitable program supported by UroMed and we hope you will consider using their services for your own medical supply needs.   Learn more about UroMed at www.uromed.com.

So without further adieu, here’s the list of LASCI’s very best moments in 2013:

10. Friends Helping Friends with Project Walk Atlanta

Leslie Ostrander had been wanting to make the journey from Columbus, GA, to Atlanta to visit Project Walk for a long time. She sold books, asked for donations and prayers to help allow her to make her “Project Walk Journey.” In February 2013, her prayers were answered! On Leslie’s first day at Project Walk Atlanta, she was accompanied by LASCI founder, Bert Burns.

When you have a spinal cord injury, one of the best things you can do for your mental well being is to get to know people in similar situations. It is important to have someone who knows what you’re going through and can help you deal with things that able-bodied friends and family just aren’t able to.

This is just the beginning of Leslie’s journey at Project Walk, but we were thankful Bert was there as a friend on her first day. We love when friends are able to come together for a common goal!

Leslie at Project Walk Atlanta

Leslie at Project Walk Atlanta

9. UroMed & LASCI Assists University of Alabama Research Project For People With Disabilities

Seal_University_of_Alabama-150x150Two researchers from the University of Alabama were hard at work this year on an initiative that will create a website concerning exercise and nutrition for individuals with varying physical disabilities.   Led by David A. Birch, PhD, MCHES,  Chair of the Department of Health Science, this project will provide a valuable resource for individuals with physical disabilities who are looking to increase their physical activity.

We shared a link to their study survey on the LASCI Facebook page in June, and hundreds of you participated to help these researchers advance their cause. Thank you for supporting this effort!

If you have any questions about this study and the forthcoming website on physical activity for persons with disabilities, please contact:

Jereme Wilroy, BExSc, MHS Graduate Assistant – Department of Health Science The University of Alabama jdwilroy@crimson.ua.edu
David A. Birch, PhD, MCHES Professor and Chair Department of Health Science – The University of Alabama dabirch@ches.ua.edu health4alabama

8. LASCI Visits Rolling Inspiration in San Antonio

LASCI teamed up with San Antonio peer support group Rolling Inspiration a few times this year.  Founded by quadriplegic Christopher Salas, Rolling Inspiration began 2010 with only 4 members and has blossomed to over 30 members.  Their mission is to get people to stop existing and start living. Rolling Inspiration was recently honored as the 2012- 2013 organization of the year by the United Way and is a grant recipient from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

During one outing, we accompanied members to a San Antonio Scorpions professional soccer game after a day trip to Morgan’s Wonderland. Special Guest and former Paralympian Saul Mendoza attended the event, meeting up with Rolling Inspiration founder Chris Salas and LASCI founder Bert Burns to enjoy the San Antonio Scorpions soccer game.

[L to R]: Paralympian Saul Mendoza, Rolling Inspiration founder Chris Salas and LASCI founder Bert Burns enjoy the San Antonio Scorpions soccer game.

[L to R]: Paralympian Saul Mendoza, Rolling Inspiration founder Chris Salas and LASCI founder Bert Burns enjoy the San Antonio Scorpions soccer game.

We also teamed up with Rolling Inspiration to help sponsor the San Antonio Sports All Can Ski Event at Sea World. The 21st annual San Antonio Sports All Can Ski event took place August 20, 21 & 22 at SeaWorld San Antonio on Sea World Lake! UroMed was a proud sponsor of this year’s outing, contributing scholarships to cover the cost of financially-challenged participants. Presented by SeaWorld Cares, the All Can Ski event offered three full days of skiing. This year, more than 120 adaptive skiers hit the SeaWorld ski lake!

allcanski1

7. Get Out, Enjoy Life 2013: UroMed, LASCI & Sports ‘N Spokes Offer Accessible Adventures Event

hit_the_roadwithout_lifelowres450w

For the third consecutive year, SPORTS ‘N SPOKES, the sports and recreation magazine of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), teamed up with UroMed’s nonprofit program Life After Spinal Cord Injury (LASCI) and the online community, Wheel:Life,  to encourage people with disabilities to “Get Out & Enjoy Life This Summer”.  This year’s theme revolved around Extreme Wheelchair Sports! alruscalli Catch the recap along with the list of prize winners here.
See the photo gallery on the S’NS website here.

6.  UroMed/LASCI Sponsors Spina Bifida Texas’ SB Day at Morgan’s Wonderland

bg_sbday We were thrilled to announce our community partnership effort with Spina Bifida Texas in July 2013!  LASCI spent a fun-filled day with their members at Morgan’s Wonderland, where we celebrated the first annual SB Day for South Texas.

Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first ultra-accessible, wheelchair-accessible, family fun park, encompassing 25 acres of rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, a picnic area and rest areas!  For more information on Morgan’s Wonderland, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com. Morgans_Wonderland_Park2

5. UroMed/LASCI Educates Students & Spinal Cord Injury Patients Across Florida

In October, the LASCI roadshow moved south, spreading across Florida in a whirlwind tour to three teaching institutions – Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Shands Rehabilitation Hospital in Gainesville and the University of Florida Occupational Therapy program.

Bert meets with SCI patients at Brooks Rehab.

Bert meets with SCI patients at Brooks Rehab.

Working with patients and staff at both Brooks Rehab and Shands Rehab, Bert answered questions about his own life and recovery process after SCI.  In addition to meeting individually with newly-injured spinal cord patients, Bert spoke to the therapy team, case managers, and recreation therapists about ways clinicians can assist people with SCI in becoming more independent.

As the last stop, Bert met with University of Florida occupation therapy students in health sciences department on the UF campus. He helped answer questions about how occupational therapists make an impact on outcomes for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Occupational therapy students at the University of Florida gathered to hear Bert's perspective on SCI.

Clinicians at Shands Rehab gathered to hear Bert’s perspective on SCI.

While most people know that Bert is a C6-7 quadriplegic, many don’t realize that after his injury, Bert returned to school to become a recreation therapist and began his career as a clinician at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.  This trip was one way for LASCI to connect patients with clinicians on a personal level and we were honored to visit with each of these highly-respected institutions.

4. UroMed/LASCI Supports 5th Annual Kernan Rehabilitation Hospital Adapted Sports Festival

Life After Spinal Cord Injury cruised up the Eastern Seaboard in September to take part in the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Hospital’s fifth annual Adapted Sports Festival. The Kernan Adapted Sports Festival is dedicated to enabling  individuals of all  abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles. Participation in sports and recreational pursuits helps make this possible. KernanKarate

Designed as a fun-filled day for individuals with physical  disabilities and  their families, the day included chances to participate in  hand cycling, boccia ball, wheelchair basketball, a wheelchair slalom course, and adapted  golf. There was also a quad rugby demonstration where Bert showed them how it’s done!

BertRugby

3. LASCI Visits Spinal Cord Injury Patients at Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital

The week before Thanksgiving, LASCI founder Bert Burns and UroMed representative John Perez travelled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to make a special stop before the holidays.  Burns delivers LASCI motivational programs nationwide, including this one that was shared with inpatients and outpatients of Baton Rouge Rehabilitation Hospital’s spinal cord injury support group.

With BRRH SCI peer group members gathered around a table, Bert shared his personal experience of overcoming spinal cord injury.

With BRRH SCI peer group members gathered around a table, Bert shared his personal experience of overcoming spinal cord injury.

During a round table discussion, Bert talked with nearly 20 patients who had various levels of SCI. Some patients used manual wheelchairs while others used powerchairs, but all could relate to Bert’s personal story of overcoming spinal cord injury.

BRRH Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
Location: Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital 8595 United Plaza Blvd.
Spinal Cord Injury Survivors and Care Givers welcome to attend.
RSVP to Roxane Bingham (225)231-3123 or roxane.bingham@brrehab.com

2. LASCI Founder Bert Burns Joins BlazeSports America’s Board of Directors

As part of a lifelong goal to help and serve individuals who use wheelchairs, UroMed & LASCI Founder Bert Burns accepted a charitable role on the Board of Directors for the national youth sports organization, BlazeSports America.  BlazeSports America’s mission is to change the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities through sport.

Nationwide, over 13,000 youth and adults with a disability have been served by BlazeSports programs.

Nationwide, over 13,000 youth and adults with a disability have been served by BlazeSports programs.

Headquartered in Decatur, GA, the local chapter of BlazeSports serves approximately 5,000 youth, adults and veterans with and without a physical disability in Georgia each year.  Nationwide, over 13,000 youth and adults with a disability have been served by BlazeSports programs.

UroMed also donated $10,000 earlier in the year to fund ongoing BlazeSports initiatives. Learn more about UroMed’s community giving program here.

Connect with BlazeSports
For more information on BlazeSports programs in your community, please visit www.blazesports.org or contact Mara Galic or Jeff Jones at 404.270.2000 or email at MGalic@blazesports.org or jjones@blazesports.org.

1. More Than 10,000 People in 54 Countries Joined LASCI This Year!

We now have 23,000 members who support each other via Facebook every day.  When LASCI began three years ago, we had no idea that so many people worldwide would find a personal connection with our online community.

LASCI member Jennifer McKinney

LASCI member Jennifer McKinney

We are humbled and honored to support our online audience with motivational stories of individual success, research news, fun facts and humorous posts, as well as ongoing answers to personal questions. It can be a challenge to respond to everyone though, and we thank you for your patience!

LASCI bumper stickers are a crowd favorite.

LASCI bumper stickers are a crowd favorite.

Did you know that our members speak more than 34 languages? LASCI members speak the following:  English (US); English (UK); Spanish; German; Portuguese (Brazil & Portugal); French (Canada & France); Italian; Arabic; English (Pirate – YES!); Turkish; Dutch; Greek; Indonesian; Swedish; Japanese; Romanian; Russian; Finnish; Polish; Korean; Thai; Simplified & Traditional Chinese; Bulgarian; Croatian; Hebrew; Catalan; Czech; Vietnamese; Hungarian; Serbian; Lithuanian; Malay; Afrikaans; Norwegian (Bokmal); Danish; Bosnian; and Ukrainian.

20% of LASCI members are over the age of 55.

20% of LASCI members are over the age of 55.

It truly takes a village to one day find a cure for spinal cord injury.  Until that day arrives, we’ll be right here taking care of all of your community needs. Thank YOU for being part of what makes LASCI great.  We look forward to serving you next year as well.

Happy holidays!

Lisa Wells
LASCI Community Director

Bert Burns
LASCI Founder/C6-7 Quadriplegic

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 The Top 10 LASCI Community Events of 2013

  1. Richard Shahan says:

    I would like to join this group .I have been a quad for 3 yrs and I don’t do anything like this

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