Amidst staggering amounts of spinal cord injury reports – now numbering in the range of 1.25 million – from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was compelled to act.
According to a recent report by New Jersey’s The Record, Governor Christie was commended by Riverdale nonprofit Push to Walk for declaring September as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month across New Jersey. After laboring and lobbying for a year and a half,Push to Walk President Cynthia Templeton was very pleased with the Governor’s decision.
Since Christie’s declaration, signed on August 17, Push to Walk has been able to amplify its reach into newer and greater constituent groups across the state and beyond.
Templeton views Governor Christie’s decision as the culmination of 18 months of Push to Walk‘s relentless advocacy. She lobbied support from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, and Disability Rights of New Jersey. A true nonprofit, Push to Walk used letters, phone calls, and other grassroots support-building tactics to amass their following.
Push to Walk’s communication and event coordinator, Stephanie Lajam, excitedly described her organization’s newly forged alliances with Dr. Young of the W.M Keck Center of Collaborative Neuroscience. “We were lucky enough to work with (Dr. Young) toward this, and it’s the best tie-in for us at this time,” Lajam stated. “It’s just exciting to be able to spread awareness and to tell people that it is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.”
In support of Push to Walk, Dr. Young has promised to offer clinical trials for spinal cord injury sufferers, including those who have been paralyzed.
Push to Walk plans to fully capitalize on the newly proclaimed Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month by providing information and encouragement to several associations. The organization’s extra-diligent work in September will culminate with its fifth annual golf event, at which Dr. Young will be honored.
According to United Spinal CEO Paul Tobin, “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.”
Push to Walk provides personal, one-on-one therapy for spinal cord injury sufferers with special exercise equipment.