This is a quest for answers. It’s a leap into the unknown driven by passion. There are no guarantees. We might not even like what we find; many within our community say this is a fool’s errand, that the cure is a false hope, a myth. But we believe there is hope for all of us living with a spinal cord injury–all of us who have lost something and simply want it back. But how does one find the way without a map?
Our mission is to hit the road and create what we call, The Cure Map, because there’s a story of immense struggle and hidden possibilities waiting to be woven together. With a camera in hand, we will be conducting a series of interviews with researchers and people throughout the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) community as a way to expose, educate, unite and empower in efforts to expedite a cure.
Over the next year, two women, a dog named Milo, and a lineup of friends and collaborators will be traveling around the country.
Kelsey Peterson is a former dancer and a C6 quadriplegic. Kelsey was injured on July 4th, 2012 in a diving accident on Lake Superior at the age of 27. After dedicating her life to dance from a young age, moving on from what had become such a central part of her is a heartbreaking reality. But acceptance is ever-evolving and this journey is one step along that unpredictable and emotional path.
Alongside Kelsey on this trip is Madeline Brown. A San Francisco & Madeline Island-based artist who received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, Madeline has harvested the core of her work through her travels and experiences abroad. She is motivated by a desire to experience and capture first-hand magic in imagery and story. And with such a poignant story to tell, this collaboration could not be passed up.
So here we are, beginning our efforts to make a difference. To educate the world about current Spinal Cord Injury research; why it always seems so close yet so far away, and to inspire faith in its future. To share the many stories of people affected by paralysis and whose everyday lives are filled with arduous moments that so many of us take for granted. Just imagine if something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning was impossible.This will be hard. We’ve already confronted so many obstacles and unforeseen frustrations. But we are wildly determined and maybe a little crazy. So if we can help find a cure for paralysis in any way by making this film, then we will have accomplished what we set out to do.
Risks and challenges
We realize that we are up against a big, multi-faceted monster. But we feel that we have prepared ourselves and that we have a support system to conquer the upcoming challenges. Our biggest hurdle right now is simply raising money. Beyond Kickstarter we also need sponsors so we are on that search as well. Our projected budget is $10,000, therefore we're currently finding the remaining $3,000 from any potential sponsors. We already have two successful partnerships thus far so we are off to a good start. We realize that we will be on an arduous road trip. Aside from the physical obstacles entailed with being on the road, we need to keep in mind the many other unpredictable circumstances like weather, car and wheelchair upkeep, and potential mishaps. Things like AAA and bringing a manual wheelchair will come in handy when it comes to unforeseen circumstances. As far as physical recuperation goes, we have made time in our plans for rest and relaxation after long drives and intense work days. All of these things have been incorporated into our budget. We are hoping for the best but trying to prepare for the worst. This is also why a third and possibly a fourth person are going to be assets on this journey. We have put into place a schedule of who will be joining us and where and have worked this into our budget as well.
So with the support of friends, family and kind strangers, along with our eclectic and valuable skill sets, we will have the strength to successfully and safely complete our mission. We are a healthy combination of anxious, excited, confident and humble.
Thank you so much for any support!!!
Big love from the road,
Kelsey, Maddy & Milo, The Cure Map
- (24 days)