FacingDisability.com: A New Way to Cope With Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury (SCI) affects the entire family. At times, families might feel that no one understands the situation in a way to help them deal with their lives ahead. That’s why the Hill Foundation of Chicago created the new Web site, FacingDisability.com, to connect families coping with spinal cord injuries with others who have been there.
The Web site features more than 1,000 videos of interviews of people with SCI, their families, caregivers and experts. People with spinal cord injuries, their parents, spouses, siblings, children and friends were asked the same 48 spinal cord injury–related questions, and only the best answers are posted on the site. Questions included the following: What was your greatest fear at first? Where did you get the best financial help and information? How has the injury affected your family relationships? How do you see your future?
Here’s what a few had to say:“I wish I would have automatically known that I was always going to be myself. I don't know what I thought the wheels were dramatically going to do to me, but I wish that I would have known that the things I enjoyed before, and the way I was before, were all going to be the same. I would just have to go about things in a different way.” –Michelle, injured at 21, quadriplegia
“I wish that I knew that what other people think doesn’t matter as much. People look at you—so you’re different or they may have to make accommodations for you to get into something. I used to be so self-conscious of that. I wish I knew that it doesn’t matter. I could have gotten over this a lot quicker.” —Darren, injured at 20, quadriplegia
“The person who’s going through this probably thinks that it’s only happening to him… and it’s not. It happens to the whole family. It’s not just their life that’s affected; it’s everyone in the family.” —Tricia, whose husband was diagnosed with paraplegia at 42
The site also has an expert section with more than 200 videos of top spinal cord injury experts answering questions on their field of SCI medicine. Topics cover such topics as “Spinal Cord Injury 101”, “Transition From Hospital to Home” and “Sex and Fertility After SCI.”
Connecting with someone who has been there is one of the best ways to deal with a new injury. For that reason, FacingDisability.com established a peer counseling service to help people connect one-on-one through an anonymous e-mail system. In addition, a forum enables visitors to ask questions and share answers.
FacingDisability.com also lists more than 300 of the best Internet resources.
FacingDisability.com was established by the Hill Foundation of Chicago, whose mission is to provide Internet-based information and support for people with spinal cord injuries and their families. Visit the site here or send an e-mail for more information.