Spinal Injury & Stem Cells
Our guest this week is Jennifer Kraft. Jenny suffered a spinal cord injury in a bicycling accident which left her paralyzed. Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in loss of nervous tissue and consequently loss of motor and sensory function. There is no treatment available that restores the injury-induced loss of function to a degree that an independent life can be guaranteed. Transplantation of stem cells or progenitors may support spinal cord repair. (https://bit.ly/2VBV9rC)
I'm a Highschool Chemistry teacher at Garcia High School in Chicago IL. I had a biking accident 5 years ago that left me paralyzed. Since then I was able to return to work after 9 months, purchase an accessible condo after 2 years, start driving again after 2.5 years, do my first triathlon after 3 years, start scuba diving and handcycling regularly. I also just walk 10 meters in 2 minutes and 21 seconds. This is all possible because of the support I've found from non-profits, friends, family, healthcare professions, physical therapists and a ton of complete strangers just by sharing my story with them. I'm working toward walking again and helping others in my condition live full active lives by sharing my stories and passion for life.
I'm starting a nonprofit www.projectawaken.us that empowers women with SCI to pair with other women with SCI to get out of the house and get active by using the free resources available in the Chicago land area.