Governor Christie Proclaims September Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

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Push to Walk received word that Governor Christie has designated September as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month for the State of New Jersey as a direct result of non-profit Push to Walk founder, Cynthia Templeton’s successful efforts.

Through public awareness campaigns such as these, we are hopeful that the community will gain greater awareness of spinal cord injury prevention and care as well as the rights of people with SCI and all disabilities to be active members of the community.

Saturday, September 1, 2012 will mark the beginning of the first official State of New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. After more than 18 months’ worth of effort from Cynthia Templeton, President of a non-profit specialized exercise gym for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI), she received word that Governor Christie had approved her Proclamation. Last year, the Federal Government proclaimed September as the National SCI Awareness Month making it seem only natural that New Jersey shares the same awareness month on a state level.

Through a letter writing campaign, Templeton was able to gain support for the idea from various organizations including Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Dr. Wise Young and Dr. Patricia Morton at the W. M. Keck Center/Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers, The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, Disability Rights New Jersey and United Spinal Association. As a group they believe that having a designated month will help educate the public, prevent injuries, advocate for improved services and research, raise awareness and ultimately improve the lives of those living with SCI.

“Nearly 15 years ago, the New Jersey legislature passed a landmark bill forming a Commission for Spinal Cord Research to support cutting edge SCI research. The SCI Awareness month celebrates how far we have come to make New Jersey the leading state for SCI care and cure but it also reminds us of how much work we still must do to prevent and reverse this condition that has been considered irreversible for all of human history,” states Dr. Wise Young, Founding Director of the W.M. Keck Center of Collaborative Neuroscience.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, approximately 1,275,000 individuals currently have a spinal cord injury and the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research states roughly 6,000 of those are New Jersey residents who have sustained traumatic injuries or diseases that damage the spinal cord.

Sustaining a spinal cord injury is a life changing and devastating event. Paul Tobin, President & CEO of United Spinal believes, “Through public awareness campaigns such as these, we are hopeful that the community will gain greater awareness of spinal cord injury prevention and care as well as the rights of people with SCI and all disabilities to be active members of the community.”

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About Push to Walk
Founded in 2007, Push to Walk is the only non-profit specialized exercise gym in the New York-New Jersey area that empowers people with spinal cord injuries to realize their individual potential. Push to Walk’s rigorous one-on-one workout approach challenges clients to reach their personal goals and achieve maximum independence, leading to greater success and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. A 501(C) 3 non-profit, Push to Walk is located in Riverdale, New Jersey. Visit http://www.pushtowalknj.org to learn more.

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Stephanie Lajam
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