Good news for spinal cord inuries...

Some new research that may provide hope for victims of spinal cord injuries.

As a former chaplain in health care I've had the chance to see the enormous devastation caused by spinal cord injuries. In my particular circumstances, working in a number of inner city nursing homes, the injuries were often related to gun shot wounds. When you see young men in wheelchairs in the inner city the chances of their being there due to diving accidents is generally pretty slim.

And the devastation these injuries cause is profound and expensive, regardless of the cause. People with spinal cord injuries can require permanent attendants, expensive mobility and medical devices, and constant medical care. With spinal cord injuries there is only a matter of degrees, even those who have the smallest amount of injury will still have their life permanently changed. Being a 20 year old man facing a lifetime in a wheelchair is a prison all by itself.

Through the years living with and serving the ill and struggling I've had a dream for this country, a dream that somehow we could use our tremendous wealth for the alleviation of disease and human suffering. As I've watched over the years I've seen my country spend billions in aid for countries that repress their citizens and never support our ideals. I've seen even more billions spent on ever more expensive tools of war. I've paid attention as money has been thrown in piles at utopian social engineering schemes, ineffective wars on poverty, and thousands of useless pet projects. And I imagine what could be different, what could be better, if that money, or even a portion of it, would have been used for the elimination of illness and disease. Why is it that a country that can put human beings on the moon with computers less powerful than my laptop seems unable to find a cure for cancer, eliminate malaria, or do the research needed to treat spinal cord injuries.

I'm still asking those questions, probably always will. Hey, a guy can dream can't he?

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