FES Therapy Device for Severely-Impaired Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

In a joint research and development project from Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Swiss Paraplegic Center, a new Fitness Training Device incorporating FES has emerge for People with high-level spinal cord injury.  Read more




What SCI Family Caregivers Need to Know

It’s been one year since President Obama declared November National Family Caregivers Month to, “salute the people who care for their loved ones while protecting their dignity and individuality.” With a spinal cord injury (SCI), it’s often a family member who takes over the caregiving when a person leaves the hospital. It’s a big life-change for everyone. The individual is no longer a patient, yet often has urgent medical needs that are not going away any time soon — if ever. Life for the newly paralyzed person has changed so much that they need someone around who knows just as much about their heart as their injury. Sometimes, a family member is the only one who fits the bill.  Read More


Meet Edmonton’s quadriplegic crime fighter


A new rehabilitation therapy system was unveiled Tuesday at the Don Wheaton Family YMCA.

Bryce Clarke, an Edmonton police homicide detective and quadriplegic, was there to help showcase and demonstrate the new equipment, donated by the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Center Society (Northern Alberta).

Clarke suffered an accident at home in 2001 that broke his C5 and C6 vertebrae. Told he would never work again, he proved his doctors wrong.

He went on to do undercover work with the gang unit and joined the historical homicide unit in 2010.

He shared his story with CBC videographer Patrick Knowles.

See Video

To access the functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike for the first time contact Jessica Imppola 780-492-5759 for an assessment. Once assessed and approved you may use the FES bike at either the Saville Fitness Centre (close to the LTR) 11610-65th street Edmonton or the Don Wheaton downtown YMCA 452-9622

10211-102 Avenue if you are an FES bike user you now have two options the Saville or / and the Y

NOTE: For persons with a spinal cord injury using the FES bike at the YMCA only the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (SCITCS), who provided the FES bike, will cover the cost of your assessment, membership in the YMCA and electrodes for one year.


A van accident left Dr. Michael Bavlsik paralyzed from the chest down. It didn’t keep him from his work for long.  In July 2012, Michael Bavlsik was driving a van-load of Boy Scouts, including two of his sons, home from camp in Minnesota, when he collided with a boat being towed behind a pickup truck and   Read More




October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Access to breast care and prevention remains a huge challenge for more than half a billion women around the world!   We are launching this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month with some new resources, including our new LEARNING BRIEF on Access to Cancer Screening for women with – Read More




Exercise and spinal cord injury recovery

Many people accept the concept that once you have a spinal cord injury, recovery is not possible. This is simply not true. Recovery is possible now and in the forefront. Healthcare professionals were taught, until recently, that recovery from paralysis would not occur but it does and always has. Traditionally, research assessing recovery was measured over a two year period. Individuals were not provided with therapy other than for maintenance and recovery was measured. Without any stimulation, nothing occurred so it was deemed that it would not.  Read More



Making strides: paraplegic steps out in support of N.E.R.D. Run

Just five years ago, Denny Ross couldn’t imagine standing again, let alone walking. Paralyzed from the chest down after a motor vehicle accident, Ross thought the simple freedom of going for a walk had been taken from him forever. Today he’s preparing for a five-kilometre race.  Read More



smart Drive


Smart Drive 1
The SmartDrive is a revolutionary new power assist device that will change your life. It can power you up steep hills and through thick carpet.It is intuitive to use, just push to go and tap then brake to stop, it’s that simple. It will go for miles on a single charge. Turn on and get out there!  Read More





Clinic partnership aimed at improving health of people with spinal cord injuries

It’s been three years since Craig Scott’s harrowing motorcycle crash in rural Utah that nearly took his life and stole all function in his legs.At the end of a week-long motorcycle trip, the Edmonton-based realtor found himself face down in the ditch of a remote highway, hidden from view, barely able to breathe and reeling from intense pain—the result of a missed corner he later learned is notoriously dangerous.  Read More


Wheel is the first-ever online community for accessible travel in the world. From the start, I knew that I could not review every country let alone every hotel, attraction and park; plus, we all have different access needs and interests. There is SO much to do and see in this world and though anything is possible, accessible travel information is needed.  Read More

Noninvasive Stimulation Gets Legs Moving After Spinal Cord Injury

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A noninvasive procedure might help people with paralysis move their legs without the need for surgery or implanted devices, new research suggests.

The treatment approach is called transcutaneous stimulation, where a device delivers an electrical current to the spine through electrodes placed on the outside of the lower backRead More

UAB researchers find therapeutic target for treatment of acute spinal cord injuries
UAB researchers have identified a therapeutic target for the treatment of acute spinal cord injuries. According to this research, conducted on mice, the administration of a drug that prevents loss of myelin – the insulating sheath around nerve fibres that allows signals to be transmitted – increases the mobility of the mice after an injury. The research paper is being published today in Journal of Neuroscience.  Read More

Suspension wheels for Wheelchairs
You’ve been asking us for loopwheels for wheelchairs almost since Day 1. We couldn’t be more delighted that we now have pre-production fully functioning prototypes. We’ve been through three iterations to get the right combination of stiffness and suspension travel to please our early testers, and we’ve designed them to be quick-release and as light as we can get them.


The Government of Alberta’s Employment First Internship Program has released a new set of paid intern positions for Albertans with disabilities. This is the second set of internships released by Employment First and represents a great opportunity for people with disabilities to gain valuable work experience in a government setting. Please see below for more information and forward to anyone who might be interested.
Please read a recent thank you letter from the Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation at the University of Alberta

SCITCS Thank You July 2015

Electrical nerve stimulation can reverse spinal cord injury nerve damage in patients 
Approximately 12,000 spinal cord injuries (SCI) happen every year in the U.S., the majority caused by car accidents, falls, sporting accidents and gunshot wounds. Better emergency care and therapy have made SCI manageable, but researchers continue to investigate approaches to make it repairable. A new study in Journal of Neurophysiology reports that peripheral nerve stimulation therapy can reverse SCI-associated nerve deterioration, potentially improving the benefits of current and emerging rehabilitation treatments.  Read more



DAWN-RAFH Canada celebrates 30 years of service to women with disabilities
and Deaf women June 19, 2015 (Montreal). Today the DisAbled Women’s Network / Réseau d’action des femmes handicapées (DAWN-RAFH) Canada begins a year of celebrating 30 years of service to Canadian to women with disabilities and Deaf women.  Read more



EmployAbilities hosts a wide variety of skills training and activities through their career center. The attached calendar details the events and programs available throughout the month of June for people with disabilities seeking employment.

In This Mall, Holograms Of Disabled People
More than 30% of the drivers in Russia take disabled parking spaces without caring about the signs on the ground. Dislife, a Russian non-profit organisation, came up with a powerful campaign to stop this inconsiderate behavior. They installed projections of a real disabled person that popped up every time a non-disabled driver tried to park in their space – read more

Spinal Cord Injury and Adaptive Technology 

Adaptive devices make life easier.
Kim Muir, MS, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, describes several of the adaptive devices that allow people with SCI to accomplish everyday tasks such as getting dressed and feeding themselves. She explains, “An occupational therapist can prescribe those after they assess where you’re at.”  Read more..
Parents on Call – a reprint in honor of Father’s Day

I’ll never forget the last time my father helped me. It was a typical situation, repeated dozens if not hundreds of times over the previous three decades: Something would go wrong in the afternoon or evening, and my mornings-only caregiver would be unavailable to return for off-hours assistance. Most of the time, my dad would be available, sometimes reluctantly, but available nonetheless. He was not the kind of guy who could easily say “no” to his children — especially to his youngest son who’d been paralyzed at the age of 17.



Four years after a vehicle crash left Denny Ross without feeling below his chest, Ross is walking tall — thanks to a University of Alberta pilot study examining the use of a robotic exoskeleton. Read more here!

by Edmonton Sun
Image courtesy of Edmonton Sun, Sept. 19, 2014


(1987–2015) 28 Years of Helping Others to Help Themselves

The first ReWalk exoskeleton in Canada arrived in Edmonton, Alberta June 2014 purchased by SCITCS for $84,000.

It is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.

It has been placed in the Student Clinic in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta. It is presently being used by two people with a spinal cord injury who are participating in a research project.

To qualify to use the ReWalk you must meet certain requirements, initially you will need a letter of approval from your medical doctor, a recent bone density and the ability to stand for 10-20 minutes using a standing frame or some other means.

For additional information…  please call 780 435-5933 leave your phone number and we will return your call or and email

Read more.. Edmonton Journal: ReWalk system gives power of movement to people with paraplegia

Read more.. First Patient takes Rewalk Robotic Exoskeleton home

Read more.. Is this a step in the right direction?

Read more…‘Robot Suit’ allows paraplegic father to walk again

Read More..Fundraiser now setup for Denny Ross for personal ReWalk

ReWalk video Demonstration by an experienced ReWalk user


For more information on ReWalk Robotics and the ReWalk systems please visit



Partnership aimed at helping paraplegics stand tall – University of Alberta

UAlberta pilot study explores how ReWalk Robotics exoskeleton changes body’s neural pathways in people with spinal cord injuries..

Read more..


part 3

FacingDisability was specifically created to connect families who suddenly have to deal with a spinal cord injury with other people like them. Our website has more than 1,000 videos of family members answering real-life questions about how they cope with a spinal cord injury.

It’s a first-of-its-kind Internet-based effort to collect life experiences surrounding spinal cord injuries and bring them to the world.

Take Me To The Videos


Rider Ranson reaches destination

To read more, click here. 

Louise Miller, SCITCS President presented Dave Ranson with a book titled “The Longest Ride” which describes Emilio Scotto’s 10 year motor cycle ride around the world
April 20th,2014 001
Dave raised $13,000 for SCI research during his 6 month motorcycle ride Prairies to Penguins.  Visit his website: Prairies to Penguins.

Importance of Physical Activity 
Physical activity plays a critical role in overall health. The loss of fitness and independence associated with physical inactivity greatly impacts quality-of-life and community participation for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). To improve fitness, healthy adults with SCI should participate in at least 20 minutes of moderate-vigorous aerobic activity two times per week, as well as strength training exercises two times per week. Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury Cord Injury can be located at
Even if You Exercise, Too Much Sitting Can Make You Sick
Even if you get regular exercise, spending too much time sitting can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases and dying prematurely.   Read More..
We have a great series of videos to help you stay fit or become even healthier as an individual living with paralysis. Facebook Twitter YouTube Google+ LinkedIn
Did you promise to get in shape this summer?
Did you promise to get in shape this summer?

Is it the longer days? The bright sunshine? Summer shorts and swimwear?

Why is it so many of us promise to get in better shape each summer?

The good news is that we have a great series of videos to help you stay fit or become even healthier as an individual living with paralysis.

Shoulder Blade Exercise

Our great friend and physical therapist Kristin McNealus, PT, DPT, ATP, worked alongside the Reeve Foundation to create seven short videos full of easy adaptive exercises you can do at the gym or in your home.

Seven short videos full of easy adaptive exercises you can do at the gym or in your home for people living with paralysis: These videos will help you become stronger, avoid injury, and move as much as possible with the goal of enhancing your health.

Take a look.

And while you are at it, check out all the videos in the popular Reeve Health Minute series. Each video is full of actionable tips for people living with paralysis to use to improve their health and wellness.

Do you have your own tips to share with the community? Let us know.

Peter T. Wilderotter, President and CEO

Yours truly,

Peter T. Wilderotter, President and CEO

Peter T. Wilderotter
President and CEO
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation


The Big Idea will start enrolling


The Big Idea will begin enrolling participants in early 2016 in a clinical study to test the application of spinal cord stimulation in a group of 36 subjects. This follows up on earlier research showing that epidural stimulation of persons with chronic, complete paralysis seems to reawaken spinal circuits; the first four young men fitted with the stimulator recovered voluntary movement in their legs, hips, ankles and toes. They also regained significant bladder, bowel and sexual function. Moreover, each of the participants improved in overall health, including increase of muscle mass, regulation of blood pressure and temperature, reduced fatigue and an overall boost to their sense of well-being.  Read More


Mayo Clinic fitness philosophy


Want to get the most out of your regular physical activity? Try these recommendations, based on national guidelines, medical research and Mayo Clinic expertise. After all, a well-rounded fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health.  Read More

Reeve Health Minutes

The Reeve Health Minute is an ongoing series of actionable tips for individuals living with paralysis to help them improve their health and wellness.  Read More


“For several years I have sought a 15-20 minute exercise program that we would be taught while in rehabilitation and that we would continue automatically on a daily basis, just like brushing our teeth. I emphasized the necessity for this by referring to it as S.O.S. (Save Our Shoulders)  So I was particularly impressed to read the following ” – Louise Miller

Secrets to Save your Shoulders Article


 2015 February                                


Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a form of exercise for people with spinal cord injuries, stroke and other neuromuscular disorders that involves sending electrical currents to paralyzed or weakened muscles so they contract to restore some degree of functional movement.

There are two types of FES bikes available in Edmonton, an RT200 people need to transfer from their wheelchairs and RT300 where you can remain in your wheel chair.                More information:

Do you qualify?
January 2015 Letter from the President  
Hello all,
I am delighted to advise that there will be an RT300 placed in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine student clinic, University of Alberta and the Don Wheaton YMCA down town Edmonton in
February 2015
This means there will be 9 sites through out Alberta offering FES
We have come a long way since 1991 when SCITCS introduced FES into The Steadward Centre (TSC) by donating the first Ergys FES Rehabilitation Centre in Western Canada.                                                                                                                                                           
2011-2015 SCITCS  provided equipment to the following sites.        
Red Deer General Hospital: RT300
The Steadward Centre: RT300
Saville Fitness Centre: RT300 and an RT200
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine  U of A RT300
YMCA Don Wheaton: RT300
Other sites with their own equipment:
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital has an RT300
Calgary have two sites with an RT300 in each
Lacombe has an RT200
December 2014  SCITCS hosted an Advanced FES training program: Day one was for the RT300 and day two for the RT200
The trainer came from the RTI Company. Personnel from 5 of the 7 sites participated including a person from Saskatchewan. All in all about 34 people attended over the two days. This included the volunteer participants needed for the hands on training.
We wish to acknowledge the staff from TSC who assisted in locating people with SCI for this purpose.
I am indebted to the members of the SCITCS board for their support in this endeavour but particularly our fund raiser Craig Simpson and Friends for without them much of this would not take place
Louise Miller C.M., AOE, MBA, LLD (Hon.)
President SCITCS


2012 September                                                              


Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

Community FES Transition Program

Shauna Paisley Cooper (left) and Louise Miller President of SCITCS discuss the two new FES exercise machines.

People with spinal cord injuries and reduced mobility now have access to specialized exercise equipment in an inclusive community setting, thanks to a partnership between the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society and the University of Alberta.

SCITCS provided the two new functional electrical stimulation (FES) rehabilitation therapy machines which are available at the Saville Community Sports Centre, operated by the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the U of A. FES is a form of exercise for people with spinal cord injuries, stroke and other neuromuscular disorders that involves sending electrical currents to paralyzed or weakened muscles so they contract to restore some degree of functional movement.

Physical activity plays a critical role in overall health. The loss of fitness and independence associated with physical inactivity greatly impacts quality-of-life and community participation for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). To improve fitness, healthy adults with SCI should participate in at least 20 minutes of moderate-vigorous aerobic activity two times per week, as well as strength training exercises two times per week. Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury Cord Injury can be located at


Expanding Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Exercise into the community, another exercise option.                                                                                 


March 2010 Louise Miller, SCITCS president, spear-headed a committee to explore– Expanding Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Exercise into the community to provide an inclusive exercise option for people with SCI and other disabilities.the  membership included, Martin Ferguson-Pell PhD Dean of Rehabilitation Medicine, Richard Stein PhD,  Vivian Mushahawar PhD, Su Ling Chong research physiotherapist, representatives from The Steadward Centre (TSC) and the Glenrose Hospital.


In 2011 a partnership between SCITCS (, the Saville Fitness Centre and The Steadward Centre was established which resulted in an inclusive FES exercise program in a public venue giving those with SCI the freedom to exercise when they wish and with whom they wish. To our knowledge there is no other inclusive FES exercise program like this in North America. For additional information or to participate in an FES exercise program                                                     Phone: Email:  phone: 780-492-9389

SCITCS  provided $102,000 towards this unique exercise program

Promising new treatment helps people with spine injuries walk better
 from OrthoSpineNews

Scientists may have found a new treatment that can help people with spinal cord injuries walk better. The research involved 19 people with spine injuries between levels C2 and T12, no joint shortening, some controlled ankle, knee, and hip movements, and the ability to walk at least one step without human more

A report, The Incidence and Prevalence of Spinal Cord Injury in Canada: Overview and Estimates Based on Current Evidence, jointly released on December 15, 2010 by the RHI and the Urban Futures Institute, has found that close to 86,000 Canadians are currently living with spinal cord injury; 44,000 of whom are living with SCI as a result of traumatic causes.

The report further notes that of the estimated 4,300 new cases of spinal cord injury that occur in Canada each year, about 1,785 are the result of traumatic injury from causes such as car accidents. Click here to view the report, press release, and backgrounders on this milestone report about the scope, scale, and impact of SCI in Canada.

2010 Federal Disability Report Released by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada The report can be accessed in HTML or PDF format.

Print and alternate formats (Large Print, Braille, Audio Cassette, Audio CD, e-Text Diskette, e-Text CD or DAISY) can be ordered by phone, TTY, fax, mail or online

Phone: 1 800 O Canada (1 800 622 6232)
TTY: 1 800 926 9105.
Fax: 819-953-7260 (long distance charges will apply)

Mail: Publications Services, HRSDC
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV, 12th Floor
Gatineau, QC, K1A 0J9




Stem Cell Research

NYSCF conference to focus on translational stem cell and neuroscience

The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) 10th Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference convenes global leaders in translational stem cell and neuroscience research to present their latest work towards new treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases and injuries currently facing the world.  Read More


Stem Cell Trials Moving Along

Asterias Biotherapeutics announced today that a third patient with a cervical spinal cord injury has been dosed with embryonic stem cells (code-named AST-OPC1) as part of the company’s acute (14 to 30 days post injury) Phase 1/2a clinical trial of oligodendrocyte progenitor (OP) cells. In case you don’t have your scorecard in front of you, this is the continuation of the work the biotech company Geron got started and then, five years ago, suddenly quit after just five patients.   Read More



The stem-cell ‘miracle’ is anecdotal

On the weekend, a who’s who of hockey legends gathered to pay tribute to Gordie Howe in his hometown of Saskatoon.

In addition to sharing memories about Mr. Hockey, a constant theme of the festivities was his “miracle” recovery from stroke.

Mr. Howe, 86, suffered two strokes last year and, according to his family, was near death before he travelled to Clinica Santa Clarita in Tijuana, Mexico, in December for experimental stem-cell treatment.

Read more

Primer on Stem Cell Research

In 1998, scientists isolated pluripotent stem cells from early human embryos and grew them in culture. In the few years since this discovery, evidence has emerged that these stem cells can become almost any of the 200 known specialized cells of the body and, thus, may generate replacement cells to repair or replace cells or tissues that are damaged or destroyed by diseases and disabilities.  Read More..

New study shows stem cell treatments promote faster healing in primates with spinal cord injury

A new study appearing today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, designed to test how stem cell injections affect primates with spinal cord injury (SCI), showed the treatments significantly improved the animals’ motor function recovery and promoted faster healing, too. The researchers call their findings a step forward toward the goal of improving outcomes for humans with chronic SCI.  Read More

‘Miracle’ stem cell therapy reverses multiple sclerosis

The treatment, is the first to reverse the symptoms of MS, which has no cure, and affects around 100,000 people in Britain.  Read More..

Stemming the media hype on stem cell therapies

(Edmonton) A new study by University of Alberta law researchers reveals sometimes overly optimistic news coverage of clinical translation of stem cell therapies—and as spokespeople, scientists need to be mindful of harnessing public expectations. – Read more here

FDA Approves Trial Of Stem-Cell Treatment For Spinal Cord Injuries. 

The San Francisco Business Times (8/28, Subscription Publication) reports in its “Biotech SF” blog that the FDA gave the green signal to Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. to proceed with a 13-person safety study of “oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, or OPCs.” The cells, derived from embryonic stem cells, are believed “to stimulate the growth of new nerve cells around the spinal cord and could help paralyzed patients regain movement.” The company expects to begin enrolling patients in early 2015, the blog posting notes.

The San Francisco Chronicle

Additional Information

Start of stem-cell study offers hope to patients with spinal-cord injuries

First Clinical Trial Begins for Stem Cell Therapy


A search committee has been convened to find a suitable candidate for this crucially important position in Edmonton. This has long been a vision for several University of Alberta researchers but in particular neuroscience Professor Richard Stein PhD