April 2004 Table of Contents


Where Have All the "Two-doors" Gone?

In their independent searches, two wheelchair users discover "the perfect vehicle."

Spasticity & SCI

What is it? What causes it? And which treatments help?

A Veteran's Story

U.S. military personnel went to Iraq as prepared as they could be. This soldier is one of those who put his life on the line—and almost lost it.

Low Water & High Hopes

With titles as "bait," anglers in the PVA Bass Tour's third annual Grand National Championship tackle the challenges and reel in the rewards.

Something to Celebrate!

A week of special events is just the "ticket" to spread the word about this disability-community advocate.

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Reasons & Remarks

Editor Cliff Crase remarks on the recent appointment of former PVA government relations executive director Gordon H. Mansfield as chief operating officer (COO) and deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. From U.S. Army private to VA deputy secretary—you've come a long way, Gordie!

PVA President's Message

Paralyzed Veterans of America President Joseph Fox Sr. remembers National Director Lupo A. Quitoriano, who passed away in February, and comments on a campaign to restore Medicare coverage benefits for people requiring power wheelchairs.

Diagnosis: MS

The basic facts about pain and MS—how to distinguish the sources and types of pain, what to do about it, and pain and emotion.

Healing Options

Columnist S. Laurance Johnston, Ph.D., discusses one of the most talked about therapies for restoring function to people with SCI—transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). His conclusions: Although the procedure has restored significant quality-of-life-enhancing function in most patients, OEC transplantation is not a "cure," and patients must keep realistic expectations. Before definitive conclusions are drawn, more long-term patient follow-up is needed.

Living Well

Today, animals—mostly dogs—are accepted as an important piece of "assistive technology" for people with a variety of disabilities. In this month's column, C.A. Brooks, a research supervisor at Colorado's Craig Hospital, explains the difference between a pet and a service animal and what you should know about the selection process. She also tells what you can do to assure a successful match.

Money Talks

Potential donors of charitable gifts are sometimes reluctant to make substantial contributions. It's not that they lack conviction in a charity's good works or that they fail to recognize the tax benefits of making the contribution. The reason for the reluctance to act may be a need for income. In this month's column, Dan Jones of Raymond James & Associates, Inc., discusses a gift that gives back.

Travel Tips

Columnist Carol Randall of Access-Able Travel Source updates readers on an accessible eight-day South Africa tour, a relaxing (and accessible) B&B in Amish country, a tour of Egypt's tombs and temples, Greyhound Lines' Customers With Disabilities Service Desk, and an online directory of Michigan gas stations that will pump fuel for drivers with disabilities at the self-service price. There's also information about the Wheelchair Travel Bag, designed to protect your folding wheelchair from the hazards of travel.

Mobility & More

Testimonials and demonstrations of the i-Glide (a computer-controlled wheelchair that provides smooth, controlled motion even over changing terrain) and the iBOT (a versatile wheelchair that uses internal gyroscopes to operate in five different modes, including stair-climbing) demonstrate that with the right attitude and the proper technology, nothing is out of reach! You'll also read about the Senior Wheels USA Program, proving free power wheelchairs to qualifying senior citizens and people with disabilities; learn how to know if your state has lemon laws to protect consumers who use wheelchairs and other forms of assistive technology; and find out how to be notified of wheelchair-related projects or studies in which you may be eligible to participate.

News Beat

Reports on the new Caring for Caregivers program; the winner of the Safari Club International Pathfinder Award; a poll showing Americans with disabilities remain insufficiently prepared for terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other crisis; and an online shopping site for people with disabilities.

Diagnosis: MS

Greg Franzen broke his neck diving off a neighbor's dock, but he found "the Lord has good plans for our lives, even when things look darkest." Read the story of this successful architect in On the Job, along with commentary on a Harris Poll commissioned by the National Organization on Disability that finds serious concern on the part of all Americans—especially those with disabilities—when it comes to employment.

On the Hill

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has partnered with eight major veterans service organizations to form The Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform. This group's goal is to move veterans' healthcare funding out of the discretionary process and into mandatory funding. In this month's issue, learn how they are doing this.

On the Job

A dive from a neighbor's dock resulted in a broken neck, but Greg Franzen came to realize, "The Lord has good plans for our lives even when things look darkest." Read about this successful architect's journey from injury to his dream profession, along with commentary on a Harris Poll commissioned by the National Organization on Disability that finds "serious concern" on the part of Americans with disabilities when it comes to employment.

Sports & Recreation

Coverage of the fourth stop on the PVA National Trapshoot Circuit, an introduction to the 2004 National Outstanding Director of a Year-Round Program Award winner, and a report on a successful African safari. If you like wheelchair sports and recreation, you'll love our sister publication, SPORTS ’N SPOKES!.

And Finally...

What politician can afford to overlook a fifth of the nation?s voting-aged population? That massive slice of the electoral pie comprises the roughly 40 million Americans with disabilities who are of voting age. Though not as cohesively identified as other minority groups, the disability vote is one that politicians ignore at their peril. Read NOD Vice President Brewster Thackery's take on the power of the disability vote.

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