Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association to Build Ramp to Help Mother of 7 Trapped in her House

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The Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association (MSCIA) has chosen to utilize donation money from their first major event to assist a woman in Detroit, who has not been able to leave her house in over a year except by ambulance to visit her doctor.

I would very much enjoy to be able to go out and see the world

The Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association (MSCIA) has chosen to utilize donation money from their first major event to assist a woman in Detroit, who has not been able to leave her house in over a year except by ambulance to visit her doctor.

Marie was diagnosed with Lupus over thirteen years ago, but only recently has it disabled her to the point of not being able to leave her house without assistance. Since November 2009, the disease has paralyzed her from the waist down. In addition to her struggles with Lupus, Marie has also been diagnosed Neuromyelitis optica, or Devic's disease, a central nervous system disorder involving inflammation of the eye nerves and inflammation of the spinal cord.

Marie is a mother of seven children, five of which currently live at home with her. She contacted Janet Prince at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, who in turn reached out to the MSCIA for help. “I would very much enjoy to be able to go out and see the world,” Marie says of her need for a ramp at her front door. “I’ve been a caregiver for most of my life, but now I am in need of help myself.”

The MSCIA held a very successful “Rolling with Promise” informational event and dinner at The San Marino Club in Troy, on July 15, and are eager to utilize the donations collected from the event to directly benefit spinal cord injured members of the community. “We wanted all of the donation money received to go straight back to the community, and we are truly excited to have the opportunity to make such an impact on a person’s life. We hope that we can do a lot more of this!” says MSCIA Board Member Stacey Murphy.

The focus of the MSCIA is to enhance and empower those with spinal cord injury and disease to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment. The MSCIA is the Michigan chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, or the NSCIA. The NSCIA, founded in 1948, is the nation’s oldest and largest civilian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease and their families. Collectively, there are over 24,000 voices representing the association.

After the project was approved unanimously by the MSCIA Board Members, Disability Made Easy of Troy (a barrier-free construction company) was given the task of building the ramp. The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters (MRCC) donated directly to the ramp-building project to cover all extra costs. “This ramp is an opportunity to give a piece of equipment that will keep giving back to Marie every time she uses it,” says MSCIA Board Member Kathryn Warner. “We love that we were able to help her out in such a big way.”

Construction for the ramp begins this Monday, November 8, and the MSCIA as well as all others involved are eager to see the project completed. “The sooner we can have the ramp built, the sooner Marie can enjoy freedom to come and go from her home as she pleases,” says MSCIA Board Member Gregory Jamian. “We hope, with these efforts, we can make her day-to-day living just a little bit easier for her and her family.”

For more information about the MSCIA and this upcoming project, or to interview Marie or an MSCIA member, please contact Cristina Shallal at 248.288.2270, or email info(at)mispinalcord(dot)org.

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Cristina Shallal
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