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The SCI 2020: Launching a Decade for Disruption in Spinal Cord Injury Research Conference is just two months away! The meeting is February 12-13th at the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Maryland. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so here

Important Information:

1.) If you are unable to attend in person, don’t worry, this meeting will be live-streamed at the NIH Videocasting site. The archived recording will be available within a few days of the conference.

2.) The poster session application process is now open! Applications are due by January 15th. Space is limited, so only 48 posters will be selected. The goal of the poster session is to help facilitate collaborations and knowledge transfer, therefore the posters and abstracts are in a non-traditional format. Please read the instructions carefully before applying. The application information and form can be found under the Poster Session tab of the registration site.

3.) If you plan to attend in person, please be sure to book your hotel room soon. A limited number of rooms are reserved at the government rate at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel on Pooks Hill Road.  The room block will only be guaranteed until January 4th, so don’t delay!  Hotel information is available on the Logistics tab of the conference registration site. 

Please continue to check back at the Registration site for the updated meeting agenda, which is available at the Agenda tab of the registration site.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact members of the NIH Steering Committee, and stay tuned for details on the Breakout Sessions and Lunch and Learn coming soon.



Stem Cell Tourist Sports Massive Growth: Condition Worsens

“Don’t trust anecdotes.” Take it from Jim Gass. Gass, a 66-year-old former chief

legal counsel for Sylvania, then living in Wilmington, Mass., had a stroke in 2009. He could walk on his own and lived independently, but he wanted to recover his flaccid

left arm and weak left leg.

“I began doing research on the internet,” Gass said. He discovered a lot of online testimonials about successful stem cell treatments. These treatments, unproven and

basically experimental, are not available in the U.S. of course, so you have to travel overseas, and pay a lot of money. Gass was especially impressed with the story of

former football star and golfer Jim Brodie, who recovered from a stroke after cell therapy in Russia.

Read More here: Clinical Trials

The Steadward Centre at the University of Alberta.

Dr Jennifer Leo will be the new Director of The Steadward Centre at the University of Alberta.

She has a doctor of philosophy degree (PhD) focused in Adapted Physical Activity from the University of Alberta.

Read More here: Dr. Jennifer Leo</span


Sherwood Park man determined to walk again with help of clinical trial in Miami

At Reyu Paralysis Recovery Centre on Monday, Landon Smith winces as he’s helped through exercises including rows and sit-ups. Every movement is part of his plan to get full movement throughout his body once again.

Smith is confident he will walk again despite being left paralyzed from the waist down after jumping into a foam pit at a Sherwood Park trampoline park last year.

Read More here: Clinical Trials


July 23, 2018

Dear Gala Attendees,

On behalf of The Steadward Centre staff, participants and their families, I want to sincerely thank you for attending The Steadward Centre’s 40th Anniversary Gala on June 21, 2018. We are grateful for your support and we thank all of you who gave generously towards preserving the legacy of The Steadward Centre, and supporting its important and ongoing work within our community.

At The Steadward Centre, we inspire individual achievement in Adapted Physical Activity and Parasport by conducting and applying innovative research, widely sharing expert knowledge and delivering highly successful programs for individuals experiencing disability. Since its inception, The Centre has expanded exponentially, now serving over 1000 individuals living with impairment from the Capital Region each year.

Once again, the gala provided us the opportunity to raise awareness for our programs, celebrate our successes over the past 40 years, and generate funds to sustain a future so we can ensure that every individual who wishes to participate is able to engage in meaningful physical activity and sport. The generous contribution of our attendees will allow us to continue to reach new heights in the years to come.

The 40th Anniversary Gala event has successfully raised over $200,000 for The Steadward Centre. Remarkably, the generosity of the community continues, as many of you have expressed an interest in supporting The Centre further through volunteering, extending financial support, and sharing our story with your friends and colleagues.
If you would like a tour of our facility to see our programs in action, or would like to discuss alternative ways to support the program, please contact Eric Upton at eupton@ualberta.ca or phone 780.492.6277.

If you have any questions regarding your personal donation, please do not hesitate to contact Nancy Cheung at nrcheung@ualberta.ca or 780.492.7298.

Thank you again for your generosity and support!

With gratitude,

Karen Slater
The Steadward Centre, University of Alberta



Together, We HOLD The Power! Accessibility Conference & Fall Forum

October 18 & 19, 2018

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities is hosting its first Conference and Forum! The conference and forum are a two day dialogue and information exchange, featuring a reception with a keynote speaker, workshops, information tables and presentations. Read More here


Stem Cells Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury


Spinal cord injury (SCI), a serious public health issue, most likely occurs in previously healthy young adults. Current therapeutic strategies for SCI includes surgical decompression and pharmacotherapy, however, there is still no gold standard for the treatment of this devastating condition. Inefficiency and adverse effects of standard therapy indicate that novel therapeutic strategies are required. Because of their neuroregenerative and neuroprotective properties, stem cells are a promising tool for the treatment of SCI. Read More


‘Science-ploitation’: stem cells being used to market dubious therapies, prof says

Stem-cell research can potentially lead to new treatments for all kinds of conditions — but right now, some experts are concerned “pop culture science” is overtaking research-based science. Timothy Caulfield, Canada research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, says the term “stem cell” is being dubiously used by marketers to sell products. Read More


SCITCS has provided a treadmill to the REYu Paralysis Recovery Centre:


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury

These guidelines are appropriate for all healthy adults with chronic spinal cord injury, traumatic or non-traumatic, including tetraplegia and paraplegia, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Adults are encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities that are enjoyable and safe.

You should try to be active throughout the day, and in a variety of ways, in addition to your usual activities of daily living.

If you are newly injured, are pregnant, prone to autonomic dysreflexia, or have other medical conditions, you should talk to your health professional to find out what types and amount of physical activity are right for you. A health professional might include a doctor, a physiotherapist, or a qualified exercise professional.

As a safe progression towards meeting the guidelines it is appropriate to start with smaller amounts of physical activity and gradually increase how long, how often, and how hard you engage in physical activity.

Read more here

Image result for global news

Are you required to tell your employer if you have a disability?

If you have a physical or mental disability, is it absolutely necessary to disclose it to your employer?

It’s a common question in the workplace that many people with disabilities have, especially if the disability is still new to them, invisible to the public or if they’re just entering the workforce.

For example, if part of the job is to lift 30 pounds regularly and it’s mentioned in the job description, then it would be normal for an employer to ask everyone if they are able to lift the weight when conducting interviews, regardless if they have a disability or not. And if a disability is preventing you from carrying out the duty, then disclosing it may be required.
Read More


SCITCS donated a manual wheelchair to the Glenrose Hospital physiotherapy unit to be used as a demo when patients are ordering their wheelchair.

“The new chair is very much appreciated! Thanks so much to SCITCS”

Isabel Henderson
Senior Operating Officer
Glenrose Hospital



Input from the Alberta Disabilities Forum into the strategic plan of the

Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities


Issues and challenges facing the disability community



  • Many people with disabilities continue to live in poverty.
  • Employment is difficult to find when you have a disability
    and equal pay for work of equal value is difficult to obtain.
  • Despite legislation that protects individuals from being discriminated
    by employers, many individuals with disabilities continue to experience
    both implicit and explicit
    discrimination when seeking employment, navigating the hiring processes,
    and maintaining employment. This discrimination takes multiple forms
    including inaccessible job search formats,
    interview processes that don’t consider cognitive or physical disabilities.
  • People who are in receipt of AISH continue to be impacted with
    their funds purchasing less due to the increasing cost of living.
  • Families who want to plan for the long term financial security of
    family members do not have any assurance that funds that are left to t
    heir family member will not
    be used to replace existing income support benefits.




  • Accessibility has many facets. All of which provide significant limitations
    for people with disabilities when not addressed.
  • Areas that need to be considered to improve access include the following:
  • Business practices and training needed to provide better customer service
    to people with disabilities; for governments, private industry, health providers,
    and community organizations.
  • Barriers that impact access to information. This includes information being
    provided in person, through print, websites or other means
  • The built environment, not only in buildings and housing, but also outdoor space
    including sidewalks, curbs, roadways and parks.
  • Addressing accessibility in employment practices relating to employee-employer
    relationships, including recruitment, as well as, hiring and retention policies and
    practices, and access to
    assistive technology.
  • Accessible public transportation needed for going to work, school, shopping
    and other aspects of daily life.




  • Access to affordable housing is limited and even scarcer when a person has
    accessibility requirements because of their disability.
  • Information collected in 2017 by Voice of Albertans with Disabilities from
    contacts with Alberta’s 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness Initiative indicated that of the 22,848
    affordable housing units in those 7 cities,
    only 682 units were accessible. This means only 2.98% of those housing
    units are accessible which is well below the Alberta Building Code requirement of 10% of affordable,
    publicly funded housing projects to be accessible.


Priorities the Council should be tackling this year and the following 2 years.


  • Amend AISH Legislation
  • To have a cost of living index requirement for AISH Payments
  • To introduce the exemption of a Discretionary Trust in asset calculations
  • To exclude spousal income in determination of eligibility.
  • Support the development of provincial legislation on inclusion and accessibility.

Advocate for:
  • the development of an affordable and accessible housing strategy at the provincial level
  • funding agreements for building affordable housing in the Province of Alberta include the
    stipulation that 15% of all new units be constructed to be barrier free.
  • Support the review of the RAMP Program to assess the current level of funding limits.
  • Consult with First Nations communities about how to make Family Support for Children
    with Disabilities (FSCD) Program services accessible and culturally relevant to them.
Voice of Albertans with Disabilities/Alberta Disabilities Forum
106-10423 178 ST NW
Edmonton, AB T5S 1R5

Premier’s Council needs your input on disability community challenges and Council priorities

The Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities (Council) wants to hear from you!
The Council was recently appointed through an Order in Council by the Government of Alberta. Council members were selected by an open and transparent application process facilitated by the Alberta Public Agencies Secretariat. Council is responsible for advising the Premier and the Government of Alberta and reports to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Council’s advice is focused on opportunities for full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the province. The advice is grounded in the member’s own lived experiences with disability and by listening to persons with disabilities, their families, provincial organizations, service providers and aligns to the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Council is establishing a strategic plan to guide and focus the work for a three year mandate. This Council is reaching out to stakeholders for input into our plan. It is important that Council listen to the community to be able to reflect relevant issues and concerns of the disability community. We have attached an Information card about the Council that includes two key questions. Council wants to hear from you on issues and challenges faced by the disability community and priorities to focus on for the next 3 years.
Council also needs your help getting this invitation out to individuals and families in your networks – Please share this email broadly with your networks.
Input is due Friday, February 9th, 2018.
Responses to the questions can be emailed to: hs.pcspd@gov.ab.ca or if you require assistance or alternate format please contact the office of the Secretariat by phone at: 780-422-1095.
We look forward to everyone’s input and thank you so much for your help getting this out as broadly as possible.
Sheila Serup,
Chair, Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities

Fresh Faces II Chester Ho

Meet Chester Ho, the new Spinal Cord Injury Research Chair and Director of the Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in the Department of Medicine.

By Salena Kitteringham on December 4, 2017

The philanthropic contributions of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society (SCITCS), led by visionaries Louise and John Miller, have helped make it possible to recruit and appoint Chester Ho, one of North America’s premier spinal cord injury researchers, as the first Spinal Cord Injury Research Chair at the University of Alberta and new director of the Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in the Department of Medicine.

“I am really grateful, not just for the funding of the endowed chair, but also to the Millers for their vision, enthusiasm and persistence―their tenacity―because they have been working on this for a long time,” said Ho, whose previous work at the Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, was instrumental in the development of an innovative telehealth program now used across the United States for rehabilitating injured American veterans – Read More

“I am so proud of SCITCS board members and our fund raiser of 29 years Craig Simpson and Friends for helping to make this happen.”
Louise Miller CM.,AOE, MBA, LLD (Hon.)President of SCITCS


SCITCS brought Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to Western Canada in 1990 allowing people with SCI to move their legs. SCITCS has continued to focus on the application of FES for 30 years.

We have supported FES research and provided equipment to the Red Deer General Hospital, the University of Alberta Hospital, YMCA, Saville Fitness Centre, the Steadward Centre the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.
People with SCI and other mobility conditions benefit from the application of FES.



“Welcome to Planet SCI. It’s a strange place,” begins Spinal Cord Injury: The First 90 Days, a new resource guide for patients and their families in the very acute stages of spinal cord injury – before any assignment to an inpatient rehabilitation facility has been made. “You may think you’ve been cut off from your past, and also your future. I assure you that is not the case. You can’t go back and redo what’s been done; but what’s ahead is rushing at you faster than you can imagine. So let’s get you ready.”

The book is a map through every step of the recovery process. It details the first hours, days and weeks after traumatic injury; it defines the injury and outlines basic medical care now and in the future. In easy-to-understand language, the book offers detail on the complex medical and psychological issues that define spinal cord injury. Read More

‘Super exciting’ results in stem cell therapy trial


Four out of six paralyzed patients who had 10 million stem cells transplanted into their spinal cords have shown striking improvement a year after treatment, including increased ability to move their hands and arms and to perform basic functions like feeding and bathing themselves, according to research results being released Monday.

All six patients in the early-stage clinical trial, conducted by Fremont’s Asterias Biotherapeutics, reported at least some recovery after the stem cell transplant. The trial is among the first to use embryonic stem cells in human subjects. Read More

The Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta is celebrating 100 years, honoured the President of SCITCS with 5 other alumni nurses who are members of the Order of Canada. They were presented with a scarf which will be given to welcome the new class of nurses.

Get Involved in your Local Elections, join us in supporting a vision of inclusive neighborhoods, towns and cities! Voice of Albertans with
Disabilities has a vision for a future where everyone is welcomed and included in their town or city. W
e see ACCESSIBLE towns and cities
where everyone can take part and contribute to their community and workplace.

We see POVERTY REDUCTION efforts so everyone can thrive and prosper. We see a HOUSING STRATEGY that makes
sure everyone has affordable and accessible housing. I
f you, a family member or a neighbor has a disability, have your voice heard during t
his municipal election. T
alk to people in your town or city running for office and ask them some of the questions below.


Do you see:

- Actions that show respect and appreciation for differences in ability, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, education and religion?

- Buildings and spaces being tested to make sure they are accessible?

- Transportation options that fit different user’s needs?

- Information on the town or city that is easy to find, read and understand?

- People who are different from each other working in your businesses, agencies and municipalities?


Do you see:

- Anti-poverty work happening in your town or city?

- Work being done for persons with disabilities?

- Persons with disabilities being included in making helpful strategies?


Do you see:

- A housing strategy that helps lots of people such as persons with disabilities, seniors, newcomers, indigenous peoples and people who are homeless?

- Housing plans that include people as part of a neighborhood, instead of excluding people?

- Data collection to track available housing options that are affordable and accessible?

For more information contact Maureen Murphy-Black: Voice of Albertans with Disabilities 106-10423 178 ST NW, Edmonton, AB T5S 1R5 Phone: 780-488-9088 Tollfree: 1-800-387-2514

Create Wheelchair Friendly Routes on Google Maps

For most, Google Maps is an essential app used for navigation and travel. It’s revolutionised people’s daily lives – that is if you don’t have a disability.

If you do it’s a very different story. Despite providing different options for all modes of personal and public transport,
there are no alternative routes that support those who are disabled or in need of assistance, the main example of this being a lack of wheelchair friendly options.

Read More and sign the petition!

“Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta”

Since 1996, VAD has assessed businesses and public buildings to determine how accessible they are to persons with physical and sensory disabilities. The results of the assessments are shared with business owners, who are encouraged to make their premises more accessible. While most of the assessments have taken place in Edmonton, we have also conducted assessments in Calgary, Canmore, Red Deer and communities surrounding Edmonton.

Please read the following PDF regarding Best Practice Templates for Accessible Hotel Rooms and Bathrooms. This information can be used by hotels to conduct a self-assessment on what they can do to improve the guest experience of person with disabilities and assist builders during renovations and new builds in the hotel industry.

Also please read this PDF regarding The Hotel Accessibility Self-Assessment Guide

Your feedback on these templates are welcome: vad@vadsociety.ca

‘Scienceploitation’: Prof calls for crackdown on unproven stem cell therapies

An Edmonton professor is calling for tighter regulation of stem cell therapies, as clinics peddling expensive, unproven and dangerous treatments crop up in Edmonton and across North America.

“This is a big problem,” said University of Alberta health-law professor Timothy Caulfield. “We’re not talking about a handful of clinics, we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of clinics all over the world, including in North America.”

His research has found many clinics offering the unproven therapies are charging tens of thousands of dollars per treatment, and are not advertising them as experimental.

Read More

The impact of spinal cord injury on the quality of life of primary family caregivers: a literature review. Read More

“A Wheel In Two Worlds,” introduces our talented new guest blogger, and important new voice on our website, Ben Mattlin.

In this short article, Ben, a well established writer today, tells how his first job search began 30 years ago: “Editors liked my writing; they just didn’t want me in their offices. Never was this brought home more clearly than when my dad tried to help. A friend of his started to offer part-time work, then learned of my disability and abruptly rescinded. ‘Why didn’t you tell me he’s in a wheelchair?’ she scolded. ‘We can’t have someone like that representing our company.”

Ben went on to become a highly successful freelance writer and frequent contributor to Financial Advisor magazine, the author of MIRACLE BOY GROWS UP and the upcoming IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, and has been broadcast on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

We are delighted to welcome Ben, who will be a regular contributor to our blog. Read more

The Need For Independence

by Ron Wickman

In the next ten years, innovativeconcepts that have cross generational function will be the order of the day, especially in regards to accessible features; and the curbless shower will be one of the more important innovations in new home building. This phenomenon can be partially attributed to the “baby boomer” population. The steady rise in the elderly population worldwideis causing us all to re-evaluate our priorities. The housing market has simply not planned for this increasing y enormous market sector. Read PDF Story Here

The NDF recently sent a letter to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel asking that the NPUAP use its vast resources to conduct research to determine what remarkable prevention measures hospitals have begun to use that resulted in this historic 50% reduction in pressure ulcer incidence.

“I am certain that you are aware of the remarkable results concerning pressure ulcer incidence recently reported in the Jan/Feb issue of JWOCN, The International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey: 2006 – 2015. Acute care hospital-caused incidence was found to have decreased from 6.4% (2006) to 2.9% (2015). This after decades of hospital surveys showing no improvement whatsoever in hospital-caused incidence. Read More

May 16th Louise Miller SCITCS President with Su Ling Goh of Global and host of the Mayor’s Awards SCITCS won in their category

As Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Alberta, it is my sincere pleasure to extend congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society.

Over the past 30 years, through effort and hard work you have consistently fulfilled the mission of creating opportunities for people affected by spinal cord injuries and enhancing their quality of life through support, education and research. You may be justifiably proud of your many accomplishments as the work you support and promote is revolutionary not only to Alberta but to the international health community.

I offer my appreciation to the many volunteers who sustain the important work of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society. Congratulations to all those, past and present, for all that they have contributed to this important cause and best wishes for continued success in the future.



Clinisys and Microsoft Canada Collaborate to Advance Cloud-Based Electronic Medical Records On April 12th Clinisys EMR Inc., an Edmonton-based Health Data Analytics and Electronic Medical Record solutions provider announced it will be working with Microsoft Canada to bring cloud solutions that will benefit the patient population across Canada and allow Clinisys EMR to expand its reach across Canada, and globally.

Speakers at the media event included Jodi Abbott, Edmonton’s Health City and CEO NorQuest, Mel Wong, CEO BioAlberta, Devon Bilous, Minister of Economic

Development and Trade, Laura Kilcrease, CEO Alberta Innovates, Brad Pollack, Microsoft Canada, Mehadi Sayed, Clinisys and Dr. Gary Faulkner, AHS.

Clinisys enables cloud-based solutions that help empower and inform doctors, nurses, and all front-line health workers so that they can provide better, timely, and more effective healthcare. Through this alliance Clinisys will be able to eliminate the need for physical servers and infrastructure by using Microsoft’s Cloud platform, Azure. This will provide world-class security to storing patient information while meeting regulatory compliance standards. Mehadi Sayed, Clinisys President and CEO says, “We are excited to be working with a global leader and are confident that this collaboration will

provide exciting opportunities to grow local talent. It will allow us to bring innovative health ICT products to local and international markets and ultimately improve the provision of healthcare services.”

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre and Society (SCITCS) Enhances Lives

The Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre and Society (SCITCS) is celebrating 30 years of creating opportunities for people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and others. SCITCS is managed by a volunteer board and sustained by a dedicated group of volunteers who are committed to improving the quality of life of people with a SCI. Their motto, Never Say… “Never”, remains the driving force behind their organization.

Over the decades, SCITCS has supported newly injured patients with SCI and their families in numerous ways.

They host a monthly pizza night on Unit 3B at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, providing new patients with their best-selling book Daring To Live, a SCITCS Never Say…”Never” T-shirt, and a reacher. A SCITCS board member also visits patients with SCI on a weekly basis to provide support and education. These meaningful connections have assisted patients and their families through the their rehabilitation journey. Most recently, they hosted an Easter pizza party celebration that was very well attended by patients and their families.

Established in April 1987, SCITCS has been promoting and supporting applied research; they were fundamental in bringing state-of-the-art technology such as the ReWalk and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) devices to Northern

Alberta. FES applies small electrical pulses to paralyzed



Honourary SCITCS members Khalil and Diana Mushahwar with their daughter Vivian proudly wearing their SCITCS Never Say ..”Never” t- shirts in Palestine

2017 Centennial Flame Research Award

For immediate release

Ottawa, April 12, 2017

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities is inviting Canadians with disabilities to apply for the 2017 Centennial Flame Research Award.

In accordance with the Centennial Flame Research Award Act, this annual monetary award is given to a person with a disability to enable him or her to conduct research and prepare a report on one or more Canadians with disabilities who have made a contribution to Canadian public life or to the activities of Parliament.

Funding for this award is collected from the Centennial Flame monument on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, and the monetary donations made to the Centennial Flame Research Award Fund. The total value of the award for 2017 is $5,500.

For your application to be considered, the following criteria must be met:

You must be a person with a disability;
You must submit a letter of presentation in which:
You describe who you are and identify your disability;
You describe your work experience and/or your community involvements;
You say why you deserve the award;
You elaborate further on your proposed subject and your research methodology;

You must submit a letter of support for your application from a person of your choice other than the subject of the research;
You must submit proof of Canadian citizenship;
All required documents must be sent to the Clerk of the Committee and must be postmarked on or before Friday, June 30, 2017.

Those interested in more information on this award may consult the Committee’s website or contact the Clerk of the Committee.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:
Julie Geoffrion, Clerk of the Committee
Tel: 613-996-1542
E-mail: HUMA@parl.gc.ca

– See more at: http://www.neads.ca/en/about/media/index.php?id=476#sthash.iwAe2CUF.dpuf

Communities across Canada are saying ‘yes’ to making our country more accessible and inclusive! Last November, Rick surprised 1,400 students and staff at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, MB, with the first Barrier Buster grant of $30,000 to make the school entrance more accessible. When the Vincent Massey project is completed, it will be the first time in 50 years someone in a wheelchair can independently enter the school’s main doors.

Barrier Buster grants (funded mainly by the Government of Canada) help break down physical barriers in communities from coast to coast, creating real and lasting impact for people with disabilities. We are also grateful to corporate sponsors Canadian Tire Corporation, Boston Pizza, Scotiabank, Today’s Parent, and Shaw Communications for their support with our Access4All activities. Thank you! Read More



is the lucky recipient, celebrating 30 years, thank you to Mike and his Partner including the staff of the Canadian Brewhouses throughout Alberta. This will allow SCITCS to continue to create opportunities for people with a SCI and other mobility issues.


Top 10 Most Significant Advances in Spinal Injury Repair

Spinal Cord injuries are among some of the most devastating injuries and can cause problems from immobility, to bowel and bladder disfunction. Despite all of this scientists haven’t yet found a treatment or drug to fully repair spinal damage. However, over the past 20 years there have been significant advancements in treatment for spinal cord injury. Read more

Air-powered waterproof wheelchair debuts at Morgan’s Wonderland

SAN ANTONIO – A revolutionary wheelchair was unveiled at Morgan’s Wonderland on Friday. It doesn’t use any batteries and runs on air. The “PneuChair” also is waterproof. It glides with the simplicity of a joystick and weighs 80 pounds, a third of the weight of a normal wheelchair. Director of Human Engineering Research Laboratories Rory Cooper developed the chair, along with the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Read More



2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Relevant to Timeshares

Since the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design went into effect, it is the dominant conclusion by most ADA experts that timeshares are subject to the same accessibility standards as hotels. Prior to the introduction of the updated standards, both timeshare developers and timeshare owners had mostly focused on complying with the Fair Housing Act when timeshares were either being constructed or modified.

The updated 2010 standards also impacted timeshares by addressing elements commonly present in many timeshare developments. These features include pools, boat ramps, golf courses, children’s play areas and spas. Any new construction or alterations commencing after March 15, 2012 must comply with the new standards. Read more

$1-billion system for Alberta’s vulnerable gets overhaul

A program supporting Alberta’s severely handicapped is getting overhauled to deal with problems plaguing the $1-billion system. The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program provides beneficiaries with income assistance, health and personal benefit supports. In October, it was slammed by auditor general Merwan Saher for being inefficient and inconsistent, with onerous intake forms, hard-to-find information and undertrained workers. At the time, then human services Minister Irfan Sabir promised to review AISH and, on Wednesday night, his renamed Community and Social Services ministry unveiled a host
of changes to improve the program. Read More


Improved Accessibility in Alberta Provincial Parks including William Watson Lodge

Albertans with physical disabilities will have five more parks to enjoy with their families this summer, plus a new place to fish in the Castle Wildland Pro-vincial Park next summer.

The five parks are being improved as part of a $3 million plan to create accessible experiences in 15 provincial parks by 2020. In addition, Alberta Parks will create a barrier-free fishing experience in the Castle Wildland Provincial Park in 2018.

The accessible fishing venue in the Castle Wildland Provincial Park will feature a boardwalk around Bath-ing Lake. Over the next four years, more than $20 million will go to access routes, inclusion projects, camping, signage, picnic areas and hiking trails in the Castle parks.

The province will also begin construc-tion this year on two additional replacement cabins at William Watson Lodge in Peter Lougheed Provin-cial Park, scheduled to open in 2018. The $2.8 million project follows the completion of two other replace-ment cabins at the popular destina-tion, which sup-ports seniors and persons with mo-bility challenges.

Exploring the Human Body

How much do you know about the workings of your body? The human body is endlessly fascinating, and a bit mysterious. But if it’s been a while since your high school biology class, don’t worry. We’ll explore the systems of the body and find out how they all work together to make us tick. You’ll be learning about the circulatory system, immune system, endocrine system, urinary system, digestive system, nervous system, respiratory system, and lymphatic system. Read More

Spinal Cord Injury Patients Face Many Serious Health Problems Besides Paralysis

‘Paralysis is just one of the many serious health problems faced by patients who suffer spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord patients also are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease; pneumonia; life-threatening blood clots; bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction; constipation and other gastrointestinal problems; pressure ulcers; and chronic pain, according to a report published in the journal Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.

As many as 94 percent of spinal cord patients suffer chronic pain. “It typically occurs within the first year after injury but decreases in intensity and frequency with time,” Drs. Sweis and Biller wrote. “It affects patients emotionally and interferes with activities of daily living.” The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents (46 percent), falls (22 percent), violence (16 percent) and sports injuries (12 percent). Alcohol intoxication plays a role in 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Eighty percent of spinal cord injuries occur in males aged 15 to 35. Fifty-three percent of spinal cord injury patients are left tetraplegic (partial or total paralysis of the arms, legs and torso) and 42 percent are left paraplegic (partial or total paralysis of the legs).

The most common systemic complications following spinal cord injuries are pneumonia and other pulmonary problems. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death. The degree of cardiovascular dysfunction is directly related to the severity of the injury. Spinal cord patients are at risk for life threatening blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (usually in the legs) and pulmonary embolism (lungs). Pressure ulcers also are common. Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Fatal complications of spinal cord injury include blood clots and sepsis due to pneumonia, urinary infections or pressure sores.

The good news is that among patients who are not completely paralyzed, 80 percent stand by 12 months and 50 percent walk out of the hospital by 12 months, with improvements continuing for two years after injury. New treatments for spinal cord injury, including stem cells, gene therapy and electrical stimulation, are being studied. The hope is that these options can some day restore some function for patients.’ Reprinted in part from Loyala Medicine Webpage, Jim Ritter, February 16, 2017

Where there’s a will there’s a way..



When you ask Ana Lucas Osma about her life story, you’ll wonder why no one has made a movie about her yet. Her life is full of love, laughter, and is a story of resilience, and unbelievable talent. In person, she’s so sweet, and down to earth, and it’s a pleasure to share a bit of her fascinating story.

Ana was born in Madrid to a large family of five. Her father passed from cancer, she was young, and as a result, she and her family grew very close to each other. While coming from school, the bus driver drove too fast, and lost control on a curved road. The accident was later attributed to the drivers’ high blood alcohol content level. 8 people were affected, however Ana came out of the accident with a severe spinal cord injury. She was 18 years old.

The remarkable thing about Ana’s story is the way she handled the aftermath of her injury. Many who are affected by spinal cord injury, particularly after an accident, have trouble accepting the reality of their situation and coping. Ana was focused on moving on with her life as soon as possible. A year after hospitalization for her injury, she decided to apply to University for Veterinary Medicine. In Spain, with a disability, you have access to any University you would like to attend. Ana was an excellent student throughout her academic career, and decided she wanted to be chosen for the program through merit, rather than as an access candidate. She didn’t mention her injury in her application, and still got accepted to a top program in her country. The University was not wheelchair accessible, and although they assured Ana that the facilities and resources she needed would be put into place, they were not. Her friends helped her throughout her degree, carrying her chair up flights of stairs etc. Despite her difficulties, she finished her studies within 5 years, in the top 10% of her class.

When the University staff congratulated Ana on her success, she questioned them as to why they did not install wheelchair accessible services to help her through her schooling. They admitted they didn’t think she would finish her program due to her injury. Now everything at the University is wheelchair accessible.

After finishing Veterinary school, Ana decided she wanted to take some time to establish her independence. She chose to travel to Australia to study English, as well as practice medicine in a veterinary clinic. She was in Australia for one year, and discovered that she wanted to pursue research, something she was interested in while in Vet School. As she researched PhD. programs, she decided that she wanted to pursue a subject in the field of spinal cord injury, to better help understand her own injury, and those of others. She moved from Madrid to Toledo to work in a facility, which specialized in spinal cord injury where she started her PhD in Neuroscience. When she was living in Toledo, one of her friends told her about Canada. By this point, Ana discovered her love for solo travel. She decided to spend a summer by herself in Canada and fell in love with her experience and the country.

She decided to apply for a fellowship after completing her PhD with Dr.Vivian Mushawar at the University of Alberta, and she received a position to work with Vivian for three years. This is where she met Louise, and the rest of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society family. She became a board member, and from there, Edmonton became her home. She met her husband Darren shortly after beginning a job in another research lab. They had a beautiful destination wedding in Mexico, and have worked together with the SCITCS Board to support and bring awareness about Spinal Cord Injury treatment and recovery.

Ana is a veterinarian, a scholar, a world traveller, and additionally, a star athlete. She had always been an active child, and wanted to continue her athletic lifestyle despite her injury. She often starts her days with morning swims, and while in Toledo she was playing on a National basketball game. After arriving in Canada, she faced a new challenge to her lifestyle, the northern winters. Snow can present a number of difficulties to a wheelchair user, even crossing the street can be quite dangerous or an impossible mission. Despite the challenges, the snow never kept Ana indoors. Sleigh hockey as well as cross country skiing. She has competed in several long distance races, working her way up from 13km to 31km Last year in the Canadian Birkebeiner, she was awarded the Ole Hovind Award, which is given to a dedicated and experienced cross-country skier. Ana has also competed in a number of organized sporting events. She has won two bronze medals at the Canada winter games, and is following her dream of possibly competing in the 2018 Para Olympics in Korea. After recovering from her injury, instead of focusing on sports she couldn’t do, she loves trying new types of activities. Ana also loves food, wine and trying new things

Ana always enjoyed challenges, and being in a wheelchair has never stopped her from living her life to the fullest. Out of interest, she has undertaken a psychology degree, she is continuing to train for her cross-country skiing races, and she’s thinking about spending some time with veterinary clinic work after spending many years in the field of spinal cord injury research. She is bubbly, funny, sweet and resilient, a true role model for anyone facing challenges in their lives. Ana’s mother is an inspiration for the way Ana lives her life. She told Ana the life you have is now, you can’t change the fact you’re in a wheelchair, you need to live life with what you have and learn to do things in a different way.

I’ve asked Ana what types of information she’d like to give to those who are learning more about their own, or the spinal cord injuries of others. She said she feels lucky for her wonderful childhood. She has brought up that many people have had misconceptions about her academic and physical abilities. It’s frustrating, but she’s enjoyed the opportunity and challenge of proving them all wrong. Many people ask about her disability with curiosity, however people should begin to see wheelchairs as something normal, rather than not. It doesn’t take much to make the world a more accessible and accommodating place. Simple changes like cleaning the streets of ice and snow, and having wider, wheelchair accessible stalls in bathrooms make a world of difference. She appreciates how organizations like SCITCS help people help themselves. She’d love accessibility to be something that is normally accounted for during construction practices. To those who struggle with their own injury, Ana believes there is always an alternative way to overcome barriers and become a role model, and leader in the process.

Spinal Cord Injury (Northern Alberta) Society

SCITCS provided the initial funding which led to the development of the Smart E Pants and the Redliner to save our shoulders. Read More


Google Maps Is Now Wheelchair Friendly

Randy McNeil

Vaughan, Canada

Dec 21, 2016 — We Did It! Thank you all for supporting inclusion of Wheeler’s. It took some time but now we can know in advance if we can get in or not. Thank You Google for understanding the need and making it happen.

Read More

Spinal Cord Injury Manifesto
Click here for the PDF

When University of Alberta spinal cord researcher Karim Fouad began his career, not a lot was known about injuries of the central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord.

“What researchers did know is that nerve cells don’t regrow,” said Fouad, who was named as a tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury as part of a $11.9-million federal government funding announcement Dec. 2. “I wanted to know why not.” Read More


Assured Income for the Severely Disabled (AISH) results of the 2016 Audit

Auditor General Merwan N. Saher FCPA, FCA, recently released his Report of the Auditor General
of Alberta – October 2016 to members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, as required by Section
19(5) of the Auditor General Act. In his message, the Auditor General stated that
‘The purpose of a legislative audit office is to identify opportunities to improve the performance of and
confidence in the public service.’ The audit included Human Services systems in place to manage the

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) Program. He concluded that “the Department of Human Services is unable to demonstrate that the AISH Program is efficient. The Auditor General identified a number of improvements Alberta Human Services could make to better serve Albertans with disabilities requiring access to AISH benefits:

  • Ensure its application processes are user friendly
  • Set service standards for application processing times and regularly monitor against these standards
  • Improve procedures and guidelines to ensure staff
  • Apply policy in a consistent manner
  • Improve its processes to measure, monitor and
  • Report on the efficiency of the AISH program
A full copy of the Auditor General’s report and
recommendations can be found at

The Voice of Albertans with Disabilities is currently working on a project, funded in part by Alberta Human Rights and Multiculturalism; Creating Accessible Hotels in Alberta.

The outcomes of the project are that:

  • Persons with disabilities will have more access to equitable and appropriate hotels and lodgings in Alberta.
  • A template of an optimum accessible hotel room, complete with washroom, lavatory and barrier-free amenities within the room be developed.
  • Persons with disabilities and caregivers will be involved in the process of identifying their needs.
  • The Hotel Industry in Alberta will have awareness of the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.
  • The project will provide an understanding of the specific accommodations to be considered.
  • Education and awareness for policy makers, decision makers, construction industry and municipalities.
  • Increased knowledge of best practices and gaps between policies, standards and delivery systems within the hospitality industry.

We would like to hear directly from persons with disabilities who travel and stay in hotels and lodges throughout Alberta. Please take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2TCZFLB.

Please forward this email to your contacts and post on social media. Thank you.

We also need individuals who might be interested in participating in focus groups that we will arrange directly with them. The Registration Checklist (attached with this email) will be the pivotal point for focus groups as we want to hear directly from persons with disabilities. Focus groups may be done by phone. Please contact the Project Manager, Donna Graham, at 780-488-9088, Toll-free at 1-800-387-2514 or via email at projects@vadsociety.ca regarding focus groups or if you have any questions/concerns.

Your assistance is appreciated.

Provincial Coordinator
106-10423 178

Joel Murphy: Legal Superstar, Disabilities Advocate, Board Game Whiz

thumbnail_3Joel is the newest member of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Society of Alberta’s Board of Directors. He met Louise Miller, the President of SCITSC in 2009, when he was awarded a SCITCS grant for his studies. Joel was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He majored in neuroscience and psychology at the University of Alberta before pursuing a law degree. He is in his third year of law school. Though this might seem like an odd path, Joel recognized many of the skills he learned through his undergrad were directly applicable to the practice of law. He was already an avid reader and writer, and saw that he could add value to the legal field with his interdisciplinary education.

Particularly, Joel is interested in commercial and real estate law, with additional interests in business. He is an advocate for disabilities, and recognizes that accessibility needs to be a priority for builders and developers. Joel was born with a rare syndrome that resulted in a spinal cord injury when he was five years old. By the time he was six, he was in a wheelchair.

What’s remarkable about Joel is his positive energy and charisma. Many who have undergone lifestyle changes as a result of medical conditions undergo feelings of sadness and helplessness. Joel never lets his disability become and excuse. He tells me that it could be if he let it, but excuses never get you anywhere. You have to keep trying.

“As a kid, when you’re in school, some peoples houses are inaccessible, so people seem afraid to ask you if you want to come over and hangout etc. Rather than letting this be a drawback, it pushed me to be more approachable, social, forward and friendly. Its shaped who I am and how my personality has developed.”

“Attitudes towards disability and accessible services have been getting better. There is more understanding and newer buildings are more accessible. In terms of renovating older buildings, there is less flexibility. There is always a fight to build a lift or a ramp.”

The University of Alberta Law Building, where Joel studies is a Soviet era style building. None of the washrooms for example are accessible. For six years there have been efforts to develop accessible washrooms, but they’ve been in vain. The rest of the faculty and program has been really accommodating. The law library tables are low to the ground and accessible, taxi services are always available for transportation purposes.

Like the true science major he is, Joel has many ideas for solutions to enhance accessibility and encourage all business and establishments to think about how they can accommodate patrons with disabilities.

“In terms of accessibility advocacy, it should be productive. There is a lot of attention on what we should call people with disabilities etc. but whether you can get into buildings is much more important. Portable ramps are a very simple solution that can go along way. A building repository with a list of buildings that are accessible would be an awesome and very useful tool. Many with disabilities assume they can’t get into certain establishments anyway, and many business that do not have accessible venues think they don’t need them because they don’t have disabled patrons. Its a vicious cycle where no one is happy.”

“Businesses need to see accessibility as an opportunity! If I go to a bar with my fiends and I can’t get in, all of us will just go somewhere else, and we’ll never come back again. That’s lost profit, which is more than it would have taken to have a simple portable ramp installed. For example, Mercer Tavern has an elevator and a ramp despite being a historical building. They are always accommodating and they are a business I’m happy advocating and taking my friends to!”

Joel is an incredible conversationalist, and we could’ve kept talking for ages! We ended our conversation discussing how disability should never be assumed to be someone’s only identity. Joel had some inspiring words for those in a similar situation to his own;

“There are lots of things you can do, the world is not closed off to you. Lots of people with disabilities are angry, particularly if the injury is the result of an accident. If you have that attitude, you’re hurting yourself. Even if the world isn’t accessible, don’t get angry, find places that work, there’s no excuse to not go out and take on the world.”


Fav Jobbies: Read a lot of books, trivia, Tuesday night, going out, foodie, board games faces
Fav food: Sushi, Wasabi
Fav Weird Movie: The Emperors Club – Kevin Klein, Jesse Heisenberg
Coolest Halloween Costume: Stephan Hawking
Hilary or Trump: Either way we’re kind of doomed
Fav location: New York, Fast paced, I live for the concrete jungle!
Desert Island: Ramp! Matches, survival book,
Fav drink: Old Fashioned
Current Jam: Billy Joel
Dinner with a dead person: Winston Churchill
If not Canadian, which nationality: Irish


Accessible U is an initiative of Accessible Housing. It is an information hub created to help you find useful information about accessibility, especially in residential environments. It is designed to inform and empower people, thereby contributing to a more accessible Alberta. Read More

First Ever Quadriplegic Treated With Stem Cells Regains Motor Control in His Upper Body

For the first time ever, neuroscientists have treated a total quadriplegic with stem cells, and he has substantially recovered the functions of his upper body only two months into the process. Read more

A Closer Look at Adaptive Technology


Facebook has changed the way people talk about spinal cord injury

Recently, FacingDisability.com began an interactive Facebook quiz called, “What the Heck is It?” – a game that asks our fans about simple pieces of adaptive technology to see if they can guess what they are. One example is this image of an adaptive steering wheel handle. It got people talking. Even though the object was easy to guess, it prompted lots of arguments about using it. Some thought it was too dangerous, while others said they couldn’t live without it. This single post brought almost 90 comments. Read More

New sit-to-stand wheelchair gives users greater mobility access


YOQNEAM, Israel – Israeli technology start-up UPnRIDE Robotics is launching an upright, self-stabilizing wheelchair at a medical conference in Germany next month and the company hopes the device will hit the market next year.

Before then, UPnRIDE needs to pass two clinical trials, one in New York with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, before it can get regulatory approval — and ensure health insurance companies will help customers with the hefty price tag. Read More

‘Bionic’ woman Claire Lomas completes Great North Run


A paralysed woman wearing a “bionic” suit has completed the Great North Run, five days after she started it. Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007.

She began the half marathon, which runs from Newcastle to South Shields, on Wednesday and crossed the finish line at about 10:00 BST. Read More
SCITCS brought the first ReWalk to Canada in 2014 and made it available at the University of Alberta, Edmonton for a research project in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Contact professor Dr Jaynie Yang at jaynie.yang@ualberta.ca

Blind MP to draft Canada’s first national accessibility law

Carla Qualtrough, a former Paralympian and human rights lawyer, is seeking input on the legislation.

Carla Qualtrough, who is legally blind, grew up learning alternative ways of doing almost everything.

“When I was growing up, it was called accommodation. But today it’s called innovation,” said Qualtrough, 44, Canada’s federal minister of sport and first-ever minister responsible for people with disabilities. Read More


Walking 2.0

After a construction site accident, Robert Woo was paralyzed from the chest down. Woo spent the next four years in a wheelchair. But even as he learned how to live his new life, he couldn’t stop asking one very simple question: How could humans build skyscrapers, but not something better than a wheelchair? Then Woo heard about bionic exoskeletons. And it changed his life. Read more

Adaptive Rowing

Adaptive Rowing is for people with disabilities who participate in the sport of rowing.

Anyone can get involved in rowing, regardless of physical disability, sensory or learning impairment.

There are many benefits to being involved in rowing; the sense of freedom, making life-long friends, and learning new skills whilst keeping fit and healthy. You can do all this on the water or indoors, just for fun or to compete in races. Read More


A Better Version Of The Wheelchair


The wheelchair has remained relatively unchanged for decades. Why is this? We’ve made better televisions, better tools, better cars… why has it taken us so long to improve the way disabled people get around? Ogo Technologies is looking to change that. The Ogo is a new wheelchair that seeks to revolutionize the market.

Read More


SCITCS wishes to congratulate the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for successfully meeting the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Accreditation Standards. This accomplishment is due to the commitment and dedication of the SCI program staff, collaboration and partnerships with patients and their families including community partners, SCITCS, SCI-AB, academic institutes and the Rick Hansen Institute.

Bill Barrable CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute presented the Accreditation Certificate to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

Note: 2012 the Rick Hansen Institute partnered with Accreditation Canada to develop comprehensive evidence based standards for SCI care.


Left to right
Gail Aguillon, Dr Rebecca Charbonneau, Michelle Wallace, Isabel Henderson, Bill Barrable


Federal government launches National Housing Strategy consultation

The time is now to fix Canada’s housing crisis. For the first time in more than 20 years the government appears ready to re-engage on affordable housing. We have to act now to ensure ending homelessness is on the agenda.

The Federal government has launched their National Housing Strategy consultation with a new website.

Government of Canada launches consultation on planned new accessibility legislation

OTTAWA, June 22, 2016 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is committed to eliminating systemic barriers and delivering equality of opportunity to all Canadians living with disabilities.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced the launch of a national consultation process to inform the development of planned legislation that will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.

Minister Qualtrough highlighted the critical importance of accessibility and affirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring all Canadians are able to participate equally in their communities and workplaces. Read More

BLOG – Indiana Woman with Quadriplegia Gives Birth

Being a parent is tough. Being a mother who can’t move her arms and legs seems insurmountable, but Joni Vanderwolde of DeMotte, IN isn’t dwelling on her limitations. Just two years after a car accident that caused quadriplegia, Joni married her high school sweetheart. Four years after that, the couple began trying to have children. Read More



Congratulations to Nicki Langford

Nicki Graduated from NAIT completing a Personal Fitness Training Diploma she was presented with a $1.000.00 SCITCS AWARD in recognition of her achievement.


Presented by Louise Miller President of SCITCS


Stem Cell

Don’t believe the stem cell hype

Stem cells were but a glint in the medical community’s eye in 1988 when rap pioneers Public Enemy released their hit song Don’t Believe the Hype. In the intervening years, the wonder of stem cell research has come to dominate headlines, and for good reason—the potential medical applications are almost limitless. The song, on the other hand, has become ever more prophetic in a digital age dominated by media hype. Read More


Canadian clinics begin offering stem-cell treatments experts call unproven, possibly unsafe

The arthritis in Maureen Munsie’s ankles was so intense until barely a year ago, she literally had to crawl on hands and knees to get upstairs.

The pain, she recalls now, “took my breath away,” and played havoc with the avid hiker’s favourite pastime.

In desperation, Munsie turned to a Toronto-area clinic that provides a treatment many experts consider still experimental, unproven and of questionable safety.

The 63-year-old says the stem cells she received at Regenervate Medical Injection Therapy 18 months ago were transformational, all but eliminating the debilitating soreness and even allowing her to hike Argentina’s Patagonia mountains two months ago. Read More


Researchers successfully use stem cells to promote nerve fibre regeneration after spinal cord injuries

Stem cells have been used successfully, for the first time, to promote regeneration after injury to a specialized band of nerve fibres that are important for motor function.



What is VisitAble Housing?

“VisitAble Housing” or “VisitAbility” is the concept of designing and building homes with basic accessibility. VisitAble homes provide easy access on the main level for everyone. VisitAble housing offers a convenient home for residents and a welcoming environment for visitors in all ages and mobility. Read More


Human trails for Australian-made bionic spine to start next year

Patients left paralysed by injury or illness could be back on their feet again, thanks to a breakthrough by Melbourne researchers who have designed a revolutionary bionic spine. Read More

Going where a wheelchair can’t — in a sit ski


When Ana Lucas-Osma discovered cross-country skiing, it allowed her to feel just like everyone else who has ever tried the sport — free, independent, and as though she had never broken her spine.

Lucas-Osma, 36, cannot stand on her razor-thin racing skis, but sits balanced atop them, crunched into a metal chair designed just for her. With a belt across her waist and another across her pink down booties, she becomes one with the sit-ski. Read More


Wheelchair air travel survey


This survey seeks information and opinions about the boarding devices that are used, sitting on an aircraft seat, and any experiences with transport of the wheelchair.
It is hoped that travellers from around the world will share information.

This is an opportunity to improve our air travel experience.
Please participate please share


Clinical interpretation of the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index

The objective of this study was to provide validation of functional ability levels for the Spinal Cord Injury – Function Index. These results strongly support the use of SCI-FI functional ability levels to document the perceived functional abilities of persons with SCI. Results of the cluster analysis suggest that the SCI-FI functional ability levels capture function by injury characteristics. Clinical implications regarding tracking functional activity trajectories during follow-up visits are discussed.

Independent association of vitamin D with physical function in people with chronic spinal cord injury

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between vitamin D and physical function outcomes in people with spinal cord injury. In people with chronic SCI, a low vitamin D level represents an independent predictor of poor physical function.

Changes in pain processing in the spinal cord and brainstem after spinal cord injury characterized by functional magnetic resonance imaging

Traumatic spinal cord injury has a number of devastating consequences including high prevalence of chronic pain and altered pain sensitivity. The causes of altered pain states vary depending on the injury, and are difficult to diagnose and treat. A better understanding of pain mechanisms after SCI is expected to lead to better diagnostic capabilities and improved treatments. We therefore applied functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brainstem and spinal cord in a group of participants with previous traumatic SCI to characterize changes in pain processing as a result of their injuries. The results show that pain ratings, the location and magnitude of BOLD fMRI results, and connectivity assessed with SEM, varied widely across participants. However, the results varied in relation to the perceived pain and the level/severity of injuries, particularly in terms of hypothalamus connectivity with other regions, and descending modulation via the PAG-RVM-cord pathway.


Body mass index changes over 3 years and effect of obesity on community mobility for persons with chronic spinal cord injury

The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of obesity in persons with chronic spinal cord injury, determine change in body mass index over time, and identify impact of obesity on community mobility. The majority of participants with chronic SCI were overweight or obese and BMI increased by 0.46 kg/m2 over three years. Those with higher BMIs pushed their wheelchairs shorter distances, but other mobility measures were not impacted by body weight. Continued mobility activities with increasing body weight can increase risk for shoulder injury. Identifying persons who are obese allows for directed and timely health and mobility intervention.

Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in spinal cord injured patients: time to occur, time until closure and risk factors

The objective of this study was to describe time to occur and time until closure of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injury. The dynamics of HAPUs varied according to admission reason and time since lesion. However, ongoing awareness to prevent HAPUs is needed in all patients with SCI.


Disabled Parking at EPark Machines

The City is currently replacing all on-street coin operated parking meters with EPark pay machines. Replacement expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

At this point in time, there is no change in the access provided for those individuals who are eligible for the free parking privilege available via the disabled parking program within the City.

During the transition period, vehicles displaying the Provincially Issued disabled placard are permitted to park at the on-street coin operated parking meters free of charge for the specified duration of the meter:

*15 minutes free parking at 15 minute meters

*30 minutes free parking at 30 minute meters

*2 hours free parking at 2 hour meters

*5 hours free parking at 5 hour meters

As the EPark pay machines are installed and operational, vehicles displaying the Provincially Issued disabled placard will be permitted to park at the EPark pay machines free of charge for a two (2) hour time period.

All vehicles must display the disabled placard.

Disabled placards will not permit free parking at the City Hall Parkade or on private property, including Hospitals, Post-Secondary Educational Institutes/Campuses, etc.

For more information:

Transportation Operations

1500 Century Place 9803 – 102A Avenue Edmonton Alberta T5J 3A3

Telephone 311

Fax 780-496-1757

Email transportationoperations@edmonton.ca



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


Wheelchairtraveling.com 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 back. Read 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 jaursulak@shaw.ca

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 http://rewalk.com/



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 http://www.sciactioncanada.ca/guidelines/
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: www.restorative-therapies.com

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 (www.scitcs.org), the Saville Fitness Centre and The Steadward Centre www.steadwardcentre.ualberta.ca 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: bobbijoa@ualberta.ca 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 assistance...read 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

Online: http://www12.hrsdc.gc.ca



Stem Cell Research


Stem Cell

Don’t believe the stem cell hype

Stem cells were but a glint in the medical community’s eye in 1988 when rap pioneers Public Enemy released their hit song Don’t Believe the Hype. In the intervening years, the wonder of stem cell research has come to dominate headlines, and for good reason—the potential medical applications are almost limitless. The song, on the other hand, has become ever more prophetic in a digital age dominated by media hype. Read More


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



Researchers successfully use stem cells to promote nerve fibre regeneration after spinal cord injuries

Researchers successfully use stem cells to promote nerve fibre regeneration after spinal cord injuries

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