Planning for 2018, Important News

In This Issue

Purpose and Goals for 2018

*VMC E.R. doc suffers a traumatic SCI in Nov, starts walking weeks later
*Introducing Ligia Andrade Zúñiga

Purpose & Goals for 2018

The new year always brings a time of reflection of the previous year, along with planning the upcoming year. We are motivated to plan our year around different reasons, having a goal is very purposeful. So what is the purpose of the goals we will set for ourselves this year? Do they align with the purpose that we have set for ourselves in life? Where is our purpose coming from? What is the motivation? This year the PNP will be focusing on topics that are more aligned with Richard Patterson’s purpose. His purpose for this project was to connect and bring community to individuals who have acquired a spinal cord injury (and/or a traumatic brain injury) to enable their participation in peer support, post discharge, regardless of their location. Bringing up to date, relevant, exciting information is important to keeping our community connected. We will be more interactive, more up to date, and open to collaborations.

We are bilingual! If you or anyone you know would like this information in Spanish please contact us. If you have any ideas around topics you would like to see covered, please let us know! We appreciate any feedback! We wish everyone a wonderful 2018!

News and updates:

VMC ER doctor receives “ultra early” novel therapy to treat a serious spinal cord injury, and he’s already on his feet!

After suffering a serious spinal cord injury on Nov 15, Dr Wetschler received treatment using new protocols at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

The SJ Mercury News wrote, “The innovative protocols — developed by a team at Zuckerberg including Dr. Geoffrey Manley, chief of neurosurgery, and Dr. Sanjay Dhall, director of spinal neurotrauma — use advanced MRI imaging and neuromonitoring, focused on maintaining sufficient blood flow within the spinal cord.

It’s something that Dhall said Friday must be addressed within 12 hours of a spinal cord injury to be effective.”

While nobody is saying that this promising treatment means that we’re closer to a general cure for SCI, we are hopeful that it represents a big step in the right direction.

Read more at (includes video)

Introducing Ligia Andrade Zúñiga

Ligia Andrade Zúñiga been a dedicated peer supporter for 8 1/2 years following her spinal cord injury in January 2009. She is a new contributor to the Patterson Network bringing a new perspective while bridging communities.

Ligia Andrade Zúñiga is 37 years old and was born and raised in the Bay Area. She attended Notre Dame De Namur University in Belmont California earning her BS in Human Services with an emphasis in Administration and Counseling, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. Ligia has worked in local government for over 15 years and has spent the majority of her life volunteering and joining civic groups that influence and preserve a positive quality of life for individuals in her community.

Almost a year after she graduated from graduate school, Ligia suffered a spinal cord injury after she lost control of her vehicle while driving home one morning with her children. Along with a complete transformation of her life, she had to make a complete transformation in her career. Being that Ligia has always had a passion for nonprofit and making sure everyone is able to obtain a positive quality of life, it wasn’t difficult for her to reinvent herself. After working for a local Independent Living Center for a couple of years, Ligia decided to return to civic engagement locally and influence policy and regulation around individuals with disabilities. Ligia currently serves on several commissions, boards, and committees in San Mateo County such as the San Mateo County Health Commission, San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities, San Mateo County Public Authority Advisory Committee, San Mateo County Cal Medi Connect Committee, and the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) Board of Directors.

Not only does Ligia serve her community through her civic engagement, she also works as a Sexuality and Disability Educator educating and empowering not only individuals with disabilities, but also their allies in regards to relationships, intimacy, and communication while living with a disability. Through this work she also focuses on access to this type of information, and access to sexuality and reproductive health services for marginalized groups such as women of color with disabilities. Educating providers through institutions is also extremely important, ensuring access to this type of information and education.

Ligia is a mother to two boys, 20 and 15 years old. Because Ligia’s children are so important to her, she also values the visibility of parents with disabilities and has made sure parents with disabilities are visible and taken into consideration through the school experience with their children. Serving on boards and committees, and being present for activities such as football games, and parent-teacher conferences is a way she has made sure that happens.

Being part of the Patterson Network is dear to Ligia’s heart for not only all of these reasons, but also because organizations like this saved her spirit, and brought her hope. She hopes others in the same situation could also receive the same.

“ I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which came to me as a seed goes to the next as a blossom and that which came to me as a blossom, goes on as fruit.”

Dawna Markova, Ph.D


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