Most of the stories that we cover are about tragic accidents in which people are seriously injured or killed. These injuries drastically change lives, and not just the lives of those who are hurt. They require countless months, sometimes years, of recovery. They may deprive a family of income at a time when the bills are at their highest. These injuries and the accidents that cause them truly are devastating.

At the same time, there are some people who use their injuries or their relationships with those who are injured to advocate on behalf of others. That is what one former student and current Staten Island teacher have done following the student’s accident. Six years ago, the student suffered severe spinal cord injuries that left him paralyzed. Now, he and his teacher are raising money and awareness about spinal cord injuries.

It not entirely clear how the student was injured, but there are numerous accidents that leave New York City construction workers with severe spinal cord injuries, too. Often times, these workers can file lawsuits against their employers and file for workers’ compensation if it can be shown that a spinal cord injury is the result of the employer’s negligence.

Again, it is not clear how the young man was injured. What is clear, however, is that he has used his paralysis, with the help of his teacher, to create a foundation designed to educate people on spinal cord injuries. Moreover, the foundation collects donations and sends them to The Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University.

What has surely been a devastating injury has not brought this young man down, but inspired him to do more.

Source: New York Daily News, “Staten Island teacher helps disabled students with Walk4 foundation, raises money for spinal injuries,” Megan Monk, May 24, 2014