Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury can result in paralysis of the muscles used for breathing; paralysis and/or loss of feeling in all or some of the trunk, arms, and legs; weakness; numbness; loss of bowel and bladder control; and numerous secondary conditions including respiratory problems, pressure sores, and sometimes fatal spikes in blood pressure. Approximately 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the U.S. each year. A majority of injuries occur from motor vehicle accidents, falls, work-related accidents, sports injuries, and penetrations such as stab or gunshot wounds.

Our Membership Community

Our membership community provides a lifeline for many individuals that are focused on regaining their independence and improving their quality of life––whether they are leaving rehab after sustaining a spinal cord injury, learning to live with symptoms of a spinal cord disorder, or have spent years of frustration coping with disability. We provide members guidance and resources on a variety of topics they are passionate about, such as employment, affordable housing, transportation, health care, home- and community-based independent living, education, peer support, and leisure and recreation.

Ask Us

United Spinal’s Ask Us program connects you with information, resources, and access to our “Ask Us Spinal Cord Central” help center. Browse the Knowledge Books below for answers to your questions. If you can’t find what you are looking for just Ask Us and one of our knowledgeable staff will provide you with answers.
You are here >>:Home/Featured, Member Spotlight/Shannon Minnick – Rolling Dreams into Reality

Shannon Minnick – Rolling Dreams into Reality

shannonShannon Minnick closes every email with some lofty yet practical advice from the late Olympic great Jesse Owens: “We all have dreams, but in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Those words have also proven pretty prophetic in Shannon’s own life.

Now, some 25 years after the car accident that dramatically changed her future, Shannon has turned medical advice about all the things she would never be able to do on its head. “My dreams in life did not come true without the grace of God, and a supportive network of family and friends,” Shannon is quick to say.

Shannon embraced a simple formula for success: dreaming and then doing what needs to be done. Early on, Shannon dreamed of being a role model, not only for her two daughters, Akia and Erika, but for others living with a disability.

Whether serving as a board member of United Spinal’s D.C. Metro Chapter, campaigning for adaptive fitness for those with disabilities, starring in how-to videos on YouTube, being crowned Ms. Wheelchair MD 2010 or helping coordinate the Ms. Wheelchair MD organization, Shannon has planted and nurtured the dreams of so many in the disability community. She also founded and organized the Disabilities Awareness Experience to better connect and coordinate efforts and education between individuals with those without disabilities.

shannon5Shannon prides herself on actively reaching out to the disability community. A perfect example of this approach was her participation in the “Feel The Power March, Get Out The Disability Vote” this September. The event, a five day, 38-mile roll from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., was the country’s first disability voter march. Two dozen plus “marchers” stayed in tent cities along the way. Dismissing the rigors of the road and fighting off the exhausting pace, Shannon urged others to get out and vote in a Facebook video, declaring, “I am doing what needs to be done.”

Currently, Shannon is employed by a Maryland center for independent living, Independence Now. She serves on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Committee, Spinal Cord Injury Consortium Board, The MontCo Accessible Cabs, Save the Seat Committee and Getting Around the County Board. On top of all her work and volunteering, Shannon enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, dancing, movies, planning events, helping others and “most of all, Saturday mornings family time.”

Shannon welcomes sharing dreams and rolling with them until they are reality. Please feel free to connect with her on Facebook.

2016-12-31T02:26:42+00:00 Featured, Member Spotlight|