Ontario to Commit Financially to Spinal Cord Injury Research sign now

Paralysis from spinal cord injury has long been thought an ailment to which there is no cure. It's only since World War II that soldiers survived because of better antibiotics. During the 70's, paralyzed veterans started demanding access to public buildings and schools which led to a civil rights movement in North America at the heart of our Disability Acts. In the 80's Rick Hansen brought much-needed awareness and during the 90's Christopher Reeve dared the scientists to show the world that a cure is possible.

In April 2006, the provincial government of British Colombia committed $15,000,000 to the Rick Hansen Founation in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Man in Motion Tour. One year later in April 2007, Alberta submitted $12,000,000 to the cause. Steven Harper surprised this voter and committed $30,000,000 of federal funds for spinal cord injury research over the next five years.

I reached out to my provincial government leader Dalton McGuinty asking them to match the funds. He responded that Ontario has always been a supporter of the Canadian Paraplegic Assocation - who are a great association but have nothing to do with cure issues. Do I want another ramp leading nowhere or a possibility of walking again for hundreds of thousands of fellow Canadians? I'm sorry politicians, but it's time to re-visit this issue because times have changed greatly for folks paralyzed by spinal cord injury in the last twenty years.

If you're reading this and think this issue doesn't affect you, think again. Spinal cord injuries happen in a fraction of a second through car accidents, sports injuries and gunshot victims. Also non-traumatic forms of spinal cord injury occur such as Transverse Myelitis (my ailment at age 12, 23 years ago .. and I was just sitting down when I had a back pain and fell paralyzed thirty seconds later!). Spinal cord injury research could cross-benefit those with Multiple Sclerosis and other myelin-affecting ailments. The possibilities are endless ... but time is running out for those of us who have wanted to see our dream come to fruition. If I had children, I would never want them to experience paralysis or be expected to live within their own bodies as prisons. Those affected with permanent disabilities and their families and loved ones are fast becoming an ever-expanding pool of voters. As Ontarians age, this pool of voters can only grow. I was surprised to learn at a recent medical seminar how many older people are suffering falls and spinal cord injuries.

My main reason for this petition is to help future generations so they don't have to live with more than two decades of paralysis like I have. I have some secondary complications right now (infected bone from a pressure sore), from chronic paralysis, that could very well end my life. Time is running out for me to make change. My shoulders are screaming about two decades of overuse from pushing my wheelchair. My dermal-circulation in my lower extremities is slowing. Cardiac problems from the forced sendentary lifestyle are real. Bone density loss is astronomical and I wouldn't dare fall or try to prop myself up to stand for fear of compression fractures. The fatigue gets worse with every passing year and yet I keep plugging away at a full time job to keep my home and vehicle, and to pay those high taxes that afford Canadians a nice social safety net. Once I see paralysis reversed in a human being, I'll know I've accomplished what I was meant to do. Help me help them.

I ask you to join me in garnishing 1100 names to represent the new injuries across Canada during 2008 and give them hope. Please, Premier McGuinty, let's meet or exceed the committment already shown by BC, Alberta and our Federal governments. Believe in us, believe in the science and make me believe in you.

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Kristi PrinceBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario, Canada

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