Jun 29th, 2023

Feature Article


  Written by: David Stevens, Director of Business Development

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When life gives you bad lemons.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible people throughout my life and career, but when it comes to the topic of resilience, few can match the perseverance displayed by those living with paralysis.

In 1995, a close family friend, Peter Morton, suffered a C3-C4 spinal cord injury as the result of a bicycling accident. He was just 32 years old, and given the severity and location of his injury, has been ventilator-dependent and paralyzed from the neck down ever since.

The Morton Cure Paralysis Fund (MCPF) is a non-profit organization that was formed following Peter’s accident by a group of his friends (one of which being my father). For as long as I can remember, my family has been deeply involved with the foundation.

More recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to become the videographer, editor, and host of MCPF’s latest venture, Spinal Cast – a podcast offering a window into the world spinal cord injury. Working closely with Peter, as well as interviewing others living with paralysis, I have come to recognize three key elements of resilience:

1. Attitude
Peter and our guests have taught me the power of a positive mindset amid difficult circumstances. Despite limitations, they demonstrate determination and a refusal to let their situation define them. Maintaining an optimistic outlook not only inspires others but serves as a reminder that attitude is critical for overcoming adversity.

2. Flexibility
When faced with setbacks or obstacles, people living with spinal cord injuries must be adaptable. Life does not always go as planned and they are willing to adjust their expectations, embrace change, and explore alternative approaches. Bouncing back takes flexibility.

3. Persistence
Many of the activities we do on a daily basis are obstacles for those living with paralysis. They must constantly push themselves to overcome the confines of their injury. Resilience is not a one-time effort but a never-ending journey. It requires consistent focus and effort to maintain.

I highly encourage you to check out an episode (or two) of our podcast. Each interview offers a unique perspective on the human experience. These conversations offer insights and lessons that can be applied to your own life, regardless of the challenges you may face.

While everyone’s path to resilience is different, it is through the lessons we gain from others that we can better ourselves.

Grow your own lemons.

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