By RENEE BRACK
When I look at the logo for SpinalCure Australia and see that person leaping out of a wheelchair, it reminds me of a friend who now spends most of his life getting around in one.
He told me about The Dream.
In the dream, he would feel his legs again and stand up. Then he would walk. And run!
The joy he felt would come crashing down when he’d wake up and see the wheelchair next to his bed.
I wanted to put him in Dr Who’s Tardis and fast forward him into the future where he could have his spine repaired and continue his life as a playboy, nightclub owner and motorcycle racer.
So when I was invited to MC the SpinalCure Charity Oscars Lunch last year, I said yes. During the event, I had a new awareness of the gift of a healthy spine. I could walk up to the microphone, move around the room to hug friends and easily lift a glass to my lips for a sip of champagne.
Spinal cord injury changes lives suddenly. It can happen to anyone, any time, with another Australian suffering a spinal cord injury every day. The degree of injury varies greatly. Simple tasks become difficult or impossible. People lose control of their muscles, their sense of touch, sensations of pleasure and pain and sometimes the ability to breathe.
The annual cost of spinal cord injury to the Australian economy is estimated to be $4 billion a year. The personal cost to people with these injuries, and the lives of their loved ones, is immeasurable.
At my first SpinalCure Oscars Lunch, I met Joanna Knott – Co-founder and Chair of SpinalCure Australia. She was once the Director of a top London PR agency, then in 1988 moved to Australia to pursue an MBA and her sporting passion – skiing. At Thredbo, she broke her neck and severely damaged her spine.