I endured a cervical spinal cord injury during my freshman year in Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2013. At the most exciting point in my life, my entire future was suddenly thrown into question.
Over the last four years have been a process of reconnection and self-discovery I could never have imagined. After leaving in-patient rehabilitation at the hospital, I returned home to California looking for longer-term, intense therapy options closer to home.
I have gained connection to my body in ways I never thought were possible after spinal cord injury - I'm not walking yet, but I do drive, travel, cook, bike, perform long-distance open-water swims, function completely independently, and most importantly, I feel really connected to a body that has had its movement patterns completely reprogrammed.
Working with spinal cord injury was supposed to be a temporary venture while I applied for graduate programs in Public Health. I started working at an exercise-based SCI training facility after graduating from UC Davis in 2011. I was a really slow learner and I wanted to quit everyday for the first three months. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but something clicked for me and I was hooked on the constant creative problem solving, the endless gratitude from my clients, and the huge family I was now part of.
I started working with Theo in early 2014 and I can truly say that it was the first time that I felt the collaborative nature of teamwork from a client. Together, we were figuring out what paralysis recovery actually required.
After 5 years of working and managing this facility, I was suffering from work-related back pain. I had two options: quit and pursue another career path, or find a better method. With Theo as one of my first clients, I started a Pilates-based SCI Recovery program at nearby Pilates studio in 2015. Since then, Theo and I continue to explore, discover and be fueled by the excitement of recovery after paralysis.
You can read more about our bios and credentials here.
Wow. You made it all the way down here. You must be looking for some inspiring words. We may not have those, but here’s an excerpt from the introduction of our first edition:
Risks and challenges
We have everything we need to make this book, but it would take a long time. And be much less organized, graphically unpleasing, and definitely fall short of our vision. We are committed to making it great and won't settle for less than amazing!
With our crowdfunding goal, these funds cover ONLY the final copyediting, graphics, media, Kickstarter fees and rewards fulfillment. These funds do not cover the time, energy and academic resources used to create the CONTENT of the manual (that's coming from us!).
Therefore, we are restricted in time input by the nature of 1.) Stephanie's need to continue to work full-time, and 2.) Theo's full-time commitment to his recovery and return to MIT in Fall 2018. We are confident that we will be able to produce the 2nd Edition of the manual by May 2018, but do realize that we want the text to be the best it can be and will allow ourselves the wiggle room for a better composition if need be. We will be sure to update backers and followers with expectations. We ask that you be patient if our projection draws out a bit.
Our estimation of rates for copyeditors, graphic designers, printers, and photographers were based on a 2-3 professionals offering the best advice they could. Sometimes projects take more capital than estimated. We will be responsible for adjusting budget allocation, timeline and raising any additional funds needed to ensure the success of the project.
We hope you understand the deep impact our project will have on individuals living with paralysis. Thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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