Christmas Appeal 2022

Help us continue our work

Support Our Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal 2022

Help us continue our work

SCIA exists to help people like Stuart and Dawn, who have spinal and neuro conditions, and their loved ones to thrive. We empower people who experience spinal and neuro conditions to live their best life, the life they choose.

Whether people are in crisis in the spinal unit, transitioning to home, building their life skills, optimising their health and mobility through exercise therapy, reconnecting to the community or employment, or dealing with a mental health challenge, SCIA is there to help at every stage of their journey.

Please consider making a life-empowering donation this Christmas to help us continue our good works and expand to help the many currently unsupported Australians.

Our Stories

Stuart – Peer and Family Support Program

Stuart was volunteering at a school in Nepal in 2018 when a tragic motorbike accident changed his life. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia.

Like most of us, Stuart has been inspired and found meaning in life after meeting our Peer and Family Support team members. They supported him both in the spinal unit and after returning to the community.

“When I was in the spinal unit, I used to look forward to Wednesdays when the Peer Support team would come in. They’ve taught me so much.

To meet someone who not only survived but who is living life in a wheelchair is unbelievably strengthening. It just gives you hope and creates a reality for people like me. I now want to live life, not just survive it.”

SCIA has given me many opportunities to live, enjoy my independence, and grow. I’m now living in an apartment on my own with minimal support, which I absolutely love.”

Christmas Appeal 2022 - Stuart

Cameron – EmployAbility Program

Christmas Appeal 2022 Cameron

Prior to 2006, Cameron described himself as a “workaholic”, who spent up to 60 to 80 hours a week managing his own bread run. This all changed after he dived into a shallow wave and sustained a spinal cord injury, which resulted in quadriplegia.

In the years that followed, and having spent his career working in hands-on, physical roles, Cameron was unsure about returning to the workforce.

“I didn’t know what jobs I could do, or how I could do them and that’s where EmployAbility was able to open my eyes up to new opportunities and find me a great job with a supportive employer.

Being part of the workforce is very rewarding in itself, being employed has definitely given me purpose and passion again. I’ve met team mates; I have built friendships and now have surplus income as opposed to living from week to week”.

Dawn – Engage Program

Dawn sustained a spinal cord injury in 2019 following cancer treatment. Her injury left her feeling isolated from the activities she had previously engaged in and processing the grief of a changed life.

Our Engage program helped Dawn to reconnect with the important things in her life, re-establishing connections and forming new relationships with others with a similar lived experience.

The program explores how the people and activities we engage in bring meaning and enjoyment to our lives and considers how both are affected by disability.

“The program gave me a chance to take stock of the things in my life that are important to me. It was also great to share and get to know others who were different but the same as me – we had all gone through grief and loss, but that is not our final chapter. I am determined to live a life of fulfilment.”

Christmas Appeal 2022 - Dawn

Lily – NeuroMoves Exercise and Therapy Service

Christmas Appeal 2022 - Lily

Lily was hit by a speeding car whilst crossing the road, sustaining multiple traumatic injuries including brain and spinal cord injury. Her determination and resilience has seen her make a miraculous recovery.

“Since the accident I have taken on my new world with a vengeance.”

Lily has worked hard with our NeuroMoves team in Canberra, to gain enough strength and balance to support herself in her wheelchair, move around in bed, comb and tie up her hair and slide from the bed to her wheelchair. “The last of which I was told I would never achieve,” said Lily.

Lily is now organising and participating in her yearly event called “Lily’s Legs March Marathon” to raise funds for people with spinal cord injury, so that they can receive services in their time of need.

Spinal cord injury does not discriminate

It can happen to anyone in an instant but the impact lasts a lifetime. More than 20,800 people live with spinal cord injury in Australia, with one new injury every day. Whilst the causes are varied, the one constant is that every spinal cord injury is traumatic and life-changing, usually permanently so.

Your donations are enormously appreciated.


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