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Give the Gift of Hope What is it Like to be Paralyzed? Research and Support Prevention and Awareness
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Spinal 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 injury.

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.

I 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 now.

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.

Darrell Gwynn