cord injuries happen.
They happen every day, everywhere,
to people of all ages and descriptions, and from all walks
of life. And they happen in many different ways.
In 1990, I was at the height
of my career as a professional race car driver. Then, on a
test run in England, an accident -- a freak one by racing
standards -- left me paralyzed with a devastating spinal cord
Initially, there was concern
if I would even survive my injuries at all. I careened from
one medical crisis to another, taking my family and loved
ones along on that same wrenching, emotional roller-coaster
ride. Then, when the imminent dangers had passed, I arrived
at the forefront of living life in the wake of a paralyzing
spinal cord injury.
Ironically, less than six
months earlier I had chosen The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
as my personal charity, and I had already begun assisting
them in raising funding for spinal cord injury research. I
clearly recall personally placing their logos on my race car,
never then dreaming that within a few short months my future
would be in their hands.
A number of years have passed
since the fateful day I was paralyzed. In that time, my compassion
for victims of spinal cord injuries, and respect for the families
and friends of those standing behind them has grown immeasurably.
I have learned that hope, encouragement and determination
aided by education, are among the keys in creating a meaningful,
satisfying life despite physical obstacles.
am lucky. I have a wonderful family and an amazing collection
of friends and business associates who share my commitment
to build a better future for those with spinal cord injuries
and other central nervous system disorders. Significantly,
there has never been a time of more important and promising
research to find a cure for spinal cord paralysis then right
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation
(DGF) was created to help aid that critical research by raising
funds for that purpose. In addition to supporting various
worthwhile research initiatives, DGF concerns itself with
Quality of Life issues for those with spinal cord injuries.
My life, both before and after
my spinal cord injury, has surrounded professional auto racing.
Surprisingly, there are similarities between side-by-side
competition at more than 300 miles-per-hour, and the quest
to cure spinal cord injuries. Both are expensive. Both are
ultimately competitions against the clock. And with adequate
funding, technical expertise and dedication, both can be won.
There's an old saying in auto
racing, "It's not where you start, but where you finish."
That's also true of living life with a spinal cord injury.
The race to find a cure for paralysis from spinal cord injury
is well underway. With continuing help, I am certain that
race will one day be won.