If asked to name someone living with quadriplegia, many people might mention Christopher Reeve. An actor famous for his role as Superman, Christopher was paralysed from the neck down when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition in Virginia USA on 27th May 1995. He established his foundation and lobbied on behalf of people living with spinal cord injury (SCI), for human embryonic stem-cell research and helped raise general public awareness of this injury.
However, unless you have a personal connection with someone living with SCI, not much is known about the impact on daily life and what it actually involves. In reality living with SCI is so much more than simply being not able to walk. Indeed paraplegia and quadriplegia are among the most expensive chronic injuries a person can face.
PBF Australia recognise that the financial, physical and emotional cost of spinal cord injury can be devastating. Injury can occur anywhere – at home, at work, on the road or in the water. Many of PBF’s private members join in order to financially protect themselves and their loved ones should they sustain this life changing injury. They are pleased to be supporting an Australian charity and are comforted that their membership will allow them to apply for a $250,000 benefit payment if they sustain a permanent SCI. This payment is made as soon as possible after injury diagnosis to help cover many of the immediate associated costs.
That said, we recently posed the question – Why would anyone join PBF if they have already incurred a spinal cord injury?
PBF’s Tony South has been a personal friend of Peter Hasker for over 30 years. Peter, like Christopher Reeve, is a quadriplegic having been thrown from his horse in 1962. Back in 2005 Peter joined PBF Australia and Tony asked him why he had decided to join PBF over 40 years after incurring his life changing injury.
“Personally I have felt the significant impact of the financial stress a spinal cord injury imposes on the injured and their families” said Peter. “The PBF benefit would have helped us enormously as I had no insurance. Despite the fact that I am now not eligible to claim a PBF benefit payment, I can still see the value in becoming a member as I am helping other people.”
Peter and Tony then discussed the way his PBF membership contributes to the broader community by:
Peter agrees with the opinion of Christopher Reeve who is quoted as saying: “I‘m not living the life I thought I would lead, but it does have meaning, purpose. I gradually stopped wondering ‘What life do I have’ and began to consider ‘What life can I build’.”
Peter and all PBF members can be proud to say that their membership helps those living with spinal cord injury to build that life.