Just as we change, so do the cities. Twenty five years later I returned to the Queen’s land. Since I was last here in my early teens (and I still walked), it was a different city for me.
London was an incredible experience for its receptivity, accessibility and intensity. Receptivity because I could feel, since my arrival, how the bonds have grown stronger even at a distance — Lolly, her brothers Tony and Gary and their mother Maureen welcomed me as part of the family we really are. The accessibility made it possible for us to fulfill the really intense schedule we had between pubs, Paris and occasional tourism.
Our first appointment was meeting the incredible staff at Spinal Research’s office and formalise the donation of £1,500 that was collected at Stand Up for a Cure — a party which me and Lolly, representing the Cure Girls, organized in Brazil. Our next step was a visit to the lab of Dr. Liz Bradbury at Kings College, where she talked about her fifteen years of research and search for the healing of spinal cord injuries. We got to see incredible things which she uses in her studies. In the afternoon we went to the UCL lab which outlines another line of research, seeking to treat chronic injuries in humans and is funded by the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. We spoke to Charlotte who is the Finance Manager of NSIF and also the researcher Professor Ying Li and the team. We’re looking forward for the good news in the years to come! On that day I personally met Loredana, my “cure girl sister” from Italy, who was with a team filming the first documentary from the Cure Girls. Hopefully, soon everyone will know even more about the projects and hopes from seven girls around the world fighting for the healing of spinal cord injuries. May the possibility of truly effective treatments for the spinal cord injury arise from this meeting. I’m still dreaming of watching a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park — and for this to happen, both Mick & Co. and Cure Girls will need science walking by our sides. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes…”
Cure Girl Sabrina
A few days ago, Barbara published this post about her 30th anniversary of her life on a wheelchair. Read it carefully and maybe you will understand why we are struggling so hard for a cure.
Cure Girl Loredana
When I was 12 years old I had already passed my first anniversary in my wheelchair and I couldn’t imagine there would be 29 more. Probably no one imagined that, perhaps the doctors neither, the first white coats I met during these long 30 years said: “There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury, but science may bring promising news in the near future.”
I guess that more or less this was the refrain of many doctors at the end of the Eighties, maybe even my parents were told this. Today, we can say that science has made important discoveries, sometimes even extraordinary. But it’s not enough. Unfortunately, there are so many protagonists involved in a spinal cord injury, and each one has a precise role and is connected to another only in a certain way. To restore all the connections, and thus to make the signals pass through the spinal cord again, every single role needs to be restored. When I was admitted to Montecatone Rehabilitation Hospital, in Imola, Italy, (October 1987), a doctor told my father: “Cases like your daughter, twenty years ago would have been deadly. Today at least we can make people live”. Of course the quality of life is different depending on the type of injury and the severity of paralysis, even if we talk about a pathology that doesn’t result only in paralysis. I can’t describe details in a post, but you can find all the information you need on internet, if you are interested. Here is an example that is worth any reference book. If you are really unlucky, an injury may involve the highest part of the spine.
In the first three cervical vertebrae paralysis involves all four limbs, in addition to the muscles for breathing. You are dependent on a mechanical ventilator as well as for all the activities of daily living. This has happened to Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman. He fell from horseback in 1995 and sustained an injury at the first cervical vertebra. Immediately he became a spokesman for all people with sci, struggling to get funds for a cure. In an interview years ago he said: “I want to toast my 50th birthday on my legs!” He celebrated his 50th birthday, but not on his legs, and he was not allowed to postpone for his 60th. He died at 52, nine years after his injury, because of a heart attack, resulting in complications of a pressure sore. And this is one of the “invisible” consequences of a spinal cord injury. Maybe you’re wondering why I talked about Superman in a post on the anniversary of my injury. Because I was one step from his own destiny. Because, although I have a serious motor deficiency, I think there are other thousands of people who would give their soul even just to breathe without that pipe in their throat all day. And this could be possible only if there was a cure. That’s why struggling to support scientific research seems to me the most obvious thing to do. Of course, I am aware that I probably won’t be here anymore when a definitive cure will be found, a cure that makes paralysis due to spinal injuries reversible. But I prefer to help leaving to the next generation a world where those who sustain a spinal cord injury could hear these words: “Don’t worry, now there is a cure and you will walk again soon”.
#nomorepermanentparalysis #curegirls #supportresearch #spinalresearch #wingsforlife #marinaromolionlus
Cure Girl Barbara
In the last few weeks the Cure Girls Loredana and Marina have been very busy with two annual events to raise money for the association “Marina Romoli Onlus”.
On 5-6 November we had the second edition of the “Ottobiano Sport Show” where celebrities of all sports got together to support research to cure paralysis (Photos). The show included many kind of races, Running, Cycling, Go Kart, Motocross, Pit Bikes, MX Free Stile and people had also a chance to sit on a Subaru Impreza WRC with a profetional driver or even to drive a Ferrari and a Lamborghini in a race track.
Then next week the girls were at Eicma-Motorcycle Exhibition, a 4 day event held from 10th November to the 13th November 2016 at the Fiera Milano in Milano, Italy. This event showcases product from Automotive, Bicycles, Rickshaw & Spares, Electronics & Electrical Goods, Industrial Products industries (Photos).
We were guests at the “Ottobiano Motorsports” boot were we met many top riders that suppport our cause and made many new connections for even more successfull future events! We would like to thank once again all people that are helping making our dream come true! Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Must Become Curable! All together we can do it!
Cure Girl Loredana
Ero una ragazza sportiva. Ho una sorella gemella e con lei condividevo tutto. Amavo i cavalli e vivevo per loro. Mi sono cimentata con tutti i differenti tipi di discipline a cavallo e alla fine mi sono innamorata del Polo, uno sport meraviglioso.
Era il 1995, un giorno come tanti altri, siamo andate a lavorare, poi abbiamo preso i nostri pony per la partita. Durante il match, il cavallo che stavo cavalcando si è impennato esageratamente ed è caduto all’indietro sopra di me. La mia schiena si è rotta appena ha colpito il suolo; il cavallo è atterrato anche sulla mia gamba rompendomela.
Sono stata portata al più vicino ospedale dove mi hanno stabilizzato la schiena. Poi sono stata trasferita a Stoke Mandeville. Questo incidente mi ha reso paraplegica.
Io non ho smesso di “vivere”, sto facendo tutto quello che posso, sono sposata con Steve che è un marito meraviglioso. Abbiamo un figlio straordinario Milo, che ho avuto dopo l’incidente.
Mio marito e mio figlio non mi hanno mai visto camminare.
Penso che una cura per le lesioni del midollo spinale sia all’orizzonte e credo che abbiamo bisogno dell’aiuto di tutti per spingere affinché arrivi il prima possibile.
Più di ogni altra cosa desidero sposarmi di nuovo potendo camminare lungo la navata.
Abbiamo bisogno di una “CURA” per rendere realizzabili questi sogni, per questo, insieme alle Cure Girls, mi batterò fino a quando non ci sarà una Cura per le Lesioni Spinali Croniche.