Tag archive for ‘Shelby Norwich’

Jana Waring

This past Sunday, Mayor Dyer declared November 16 as “Spinal Cord Injury Day” in the City of Orlando. It is no coincidence that the day doubles as my 10-year anniversary of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). My friend Shelby and I worked hard to create a fundraiser called Project Vandalism. What I wanted to do was keep myself busy on a day that can be tumultuous; Shelby—and I’m not sure why—took the opportunity to turn an idea I had into a thesis project for school. The end result was a two-day weekend event, a Rockin’ 80’s Party/Silent Auction at City Arts Factory held Friday night and then a “Walk Because You Can” around Lake Eola Sunday morning, where Orlando’s Mayor dedicated a day to SCI. The goal of both affairs was to raise money for a family to receive a wheelchair accessible van.

Another part of Project Vandalism’s mission was to bring awareness of spinal cord injuries to the community. As someone heading up the project, I’ve been asked to share my experience of living with a SCI over the past 10 years, even though doing so pushes me far outside my comfort zone. Truth be told, I am still not comfortable sharing my personal writing, but for the sake of Dejon getting his van—the new SCI person we chose as the recipient of the donation and also the following interview after this article—and also because I need to fulfill a writing requirement for my independent study at Rollins—with Dr. Deaver’s assistance, I’m attempting to become comfortable with the uncomfortable—I want to share my story.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 questions that I’ve been repeatedly asked during the past 10 years of living in a wheelchair. I will attempt to answer them as honestly as candidly as I can. One thing you should know about those of us with SCIs is that we are all different. Much like how your kindergarten teacher used to talk about all the colors found in a Crayola box—Burnt Sienna is hardly Brick Red. Therefore, please don’t hold me accountable for speaking for all those that are injured. This is only my story and opinions—no one else’s.

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