United Spinal Association, an organization dedicated to improving the quality
of life of individuals living with spinal cord injury or disease, recently
named Kim Harrison of Douglasville, Georgia to join other disability advocates
at United Spinal Association’s Roll on Capital Hill. The annual
legislative advocacy event will address issues that affect the health,
independence, and quality of life of individuals living with spinal cord
injury or disease. The event will take place in Washington, D.C. from
June 16 to 19.
Ms. Harrison is a successful advocate for individuals living with spinal
cord injuries; has successfully lobbied the Georgia legislature.
Ms. Harrison lives with a rare neurological disorder, transverse myelitis,
which is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. According to Alexandra
Bennewith, United Spinal Association’s Vice President of Government
Relations, Ms. Harrison’s story shows that everyone has a voice
and can make a difference. Ms. Harrison was diagnosed with transverse
myelitis, in 2004. At the time, she was a healthy 45 year old. Within
a short time, she was a paraplegic, relying on a wheelchair and walker
to get around. Ms. Harrison overcame significant obstacles in order to
regain her independence. She has successfully pursued her career goals
and served as an advocate for individuals living with transverse myelitis.
For example, last year she petitioned the state of Georgia in order to
create Transverse Myelitis Awareness Day, which occurs every year on February
15th. In addition, Ms. Harrison is a participant in many adaptive sports
offered at the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation hospital located in Atlanta,
Georgia. Ms. Harrison currently works as a distribution administrator
for Lowe’s. She was selected for this position from a pool of 390
Ms. Harrison will speak to Federal legislators regarding employment opportunities
for people living with disabilities.
Ms. Harrison has been asked to speak with legislators regarding issues
related to the quality of life and independence of individuals with spinal
cord injuries and disorders. Specifically, she will be addressing the
need for more employment opportunities for individuals living with disabilities—both
those with physical disabilities and those with hidden disabilities. In
a recent interview, Ms. Harrison explained that Roll on Capital Hill is
an important event because it provides individuals living with spinal
cord injuries and disorders with a voice and the power to change policies
that affect their independence.
Over 200,000 Americans live with spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injury occurs following damage to the spinal column. There
are currently, approximately 200,000 people living with spinal cord injuries
in the United States. Every year, an estimated 12,000-20,000 individuals
are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries can occur as a result of disease, medical malpractice,
or accidents such as, automobile collisions. Alcohol has been found to
be a major factor in spinal cord injuries; it plays a role in about 25
percent of spinal cord injuries.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of spinal cord injury resulting
from medical malpractice or an accident, you should contact an attorney