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Melanie Reid

Patron, who broke her neck in 2010

Lockdown hasn't changed my life at all - I'm still a hermit, working full-time from home. The only difference is that able-bodied people have suddenly discovered exactly what social isolation and lack of hugs means! Welcome to our world, everyone!

I'm very worried that funds for research will be affected. One of the grim realities of this virus is that other huge unsolved medical challenges, such as spinal damage, will be pushed to the back burner.

I keep hope alive by doing a little physiotherapy every day. There will be a solution for spinal injury and, although it's really hard for us to keep motivating ourselves, we've all got to try and keep our bodies as mobile and flexible as possible for when that day comes.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, in my opinion, is a necessary, brutal reminder of exactly how many people suffer a spinal injury every day. It breaks my heart, still, to think of the three poor souls who every day wake up in hospital to learn what the future holds for them. And I feel for the doctors who have to deliver the news.

Lolly Mack

Ambassador with a spinal cord injury

The coronavirus situation has hugely affected me as I live with a high level spinal cord injury. As I am high risk you do feel anxious about having to see your district nurse etc. It has also taken its toll on my physical activities as I am not seeing my physiotherapist, so I’m really feeling stiff at the moment and in need of some of the hardcore exercise I normally do. The lack of exercise has increased my pain levels.

I am worried about funding for vital research, as a cure for spinal cord injury is our only hope.

My hopes for research are that one day I can become independent and hopefully walk away from my wheelchair. Just being able to do the simplest of tasks for myself would be incredible, even something to alleviate my chronic pain would be amazing. We need this hope!

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day is one day every year that we can highlight the urgency for a reversal of paralysis. My mission is to tell the world what it’s really like living with a spinal cord injury as so many people are still unaware of all the consequences that go along with it.

Jackie Reid

Pictured with her late husband Andrew

I support Spinal Research because my late husband Andrew had a high-level (C5/6) spinal cord injury from a gymnastics accident when he was only 16.

We were married very happily for more than 26 years but he died in 2014 at the age of 54 from pneumonia, after a further deterioration of his spine above his lesion. Despite the efforts of the wonderful ICU team at Southampton, where they are now saving people with Covid-19.

All charities are struggling now but people living with a spinal cord injury still need our help. Most people who have not come across spinal cord injury do not understand the impact it has on people's lives and other aspects of their health. Which is why I chose to support Spinal Research.

Andrew led a full life even with his spinal injury, but improvements in manual dexterity and grip would have made a big difference to his independence.

Ginny Elliot MBE

Patron and Olympic Horsewoman

I am very fortunate to live on a small farm and so I am able to take my exercise with the dogs and enjoy a bit of countryside. I appreciate this so much and think of people a great deal who have not got access to the countryside.

It is a huge worry for fundraising opportunities at this time. Anything the wonderful British public can do to help both now, and in the future, will help enormously.

I have been involved with Spinal Research as a Patron for over 20 years and have had a great deal of fun fundraising for Spinal Research with people from all walks of life. One day there will be a result, the scientists are getting closer and closer to the end goal so the more funding we can all raise the quicker they will deliver the answer.

Several years ago, I broke my leg badly, and I had an inkling of the difficulties for people in a wheelchair and it made me all the more enthusiastic to help with more fundraising and support for research.

Robert Shelton

Trustee with a spinal cord injury

Corvid 19 not only affects my holiday business but as a person with a high spinal cord injury I lost over 60% of my vital capacity. I therefore have to take socially isolating extremely seriously. I am missing out on physiotherapy and trying to do the best I can at home.

This makes me even more determined to find a solution for spinally injured people.

David Allan

Chairman of the Trustees

After thirty-five year as an orthopaedic surgeon and researcher I took on the role of Chairman of Spinal Research to continue its drive to find a cure for spinal cord injury. Much has been done but much still remains to be done. It can only happen with the support of individuals who care and want to help.

Spinal Research brings together medics, scientists, financiers and public spirited individuals with direct or indirect experience of paralysis in order to cure it. Surgically, I can do little to help paralysis. We need your help to change this.

Olivia Hewett

Ambassador and sister of Danny, who sustained a spinal cord injury

The current situation has enabled us to reflect on what is important to us and how we take for granted the simple things in life. Without a thought we drive our cars, go for a run or pop to the shops. It has made us think of those that are unable to do this so easily.

The lockdown highlights how vital the research is to ensure that new ways are found to allow those that have suffered a spinal cord injury to enjoy a better quality of life after their worlds have changed dramatically.

In a word, to me, Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day means HOPE!

It offers a glimmer of hope to people who have suffered a spinal cord injury and their families. When you are in this situation, or have a family member who has a spinal cord injury, you literally cling on to any way that their life can be made easier, less painful, more fulfilling. Spinal Research are always working to try and make this happen. It offers hope that one day there may be a cure for paralysis - something that can happen so fast and have such a catastrophic effect on the human body.