Did you know that 80% of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur in males? So as you can imagine, there is less information available on SCIs in females. Dr. Maria Reyes, acting assistant professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, is heartened that now “women’s health is one of the fastest growing areas of research,” but there is still a lot of catching up to do, “and we know we need to broaden the concept of women’s health to address health needs of women across the life span, as well as across socioeconomic and cultural groups, including disabled women.”
Since 1993, the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities has been working to promote, develop, and disseminate information to improve the health and expand the life choices of women with disabilities. This work is close to the heart, as it is something I endure daily and is extremely important for the continued health and wellness of women living with a SCI.
“There are approximately 27 million women with a physical disability living in the U.S. today. Of these, an estimated 39,000 have an SCI. Historically many more men sustain spinal cord injuries than do women, at a ratio of about four to one. Due to a scarcity of research, however, little is understood about the differences between men and women with SCIs. A 1998 study found differences between men and women in cause of injury, use of medications, attendants and transportation, and type of insurance, but found “more similarities than differences in the ways in which they manage life with SCI. (Shackelford M et al. A comparison of women and men with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord . 1998;36:337-339.)”
In an effort to increase the information and resources regarding women and SCIs, part of my fundraising will go to support the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities at Baylor College of Medicine and the National Rehabilitation Hospital, where I have been in rehab since October 2009. With that I ask that you will visit the funding page for more information on my funding initiative including details about the medical equipment I am fundraising for. To make a donation, click on the Chip-in widget located on the right side of the webpage.
The mission of my website is to serve as a resource to other women with SCIs by keeping a weekly blog highlighting the challenges I face and ways to overcome those challenges, share helpful resources and information, and to serve as motivation to not only others with SCIs but able-bodies too! I welcome any questions and comments. Also, feel free to forward on to others who may get something out of my website.