“All the horrors you can possibly imagine sweep through you when you see… the arm is gone.”
Jennifer Steele, 38, was a sergeant in the U.S. Army for four years. During that time, she served on a patriot missile crew for five months at the beginning of the Iraq War.
It was during her service that Jennifer started noticing some difficulty with movement. She started to trip and fall when she was running. A battery of tests followed, and at 23-years old, Steele was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and given a medical discharge.
Still wanting to serve others, she worked as an EMT back in the U.S. until lifting her patients became too difficult. The disease had progressed leaving Jennifer unable to work at all, and anger and depression set in.
A therapist suggested Steele attend the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Although it was years later when she decided to go, she says the choice “really made me feel alive again” and credits Paralyzed Veterans of America with introducing her to the adaptive sports that changed her life.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. It is the most comprehensive disability rights legislation ever enacted. The ADA prohibits discrimination against a person with a disability in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several educational programs. The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) Program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors.
Cardiac disease is the silent killer in America. Half of all deaths in the United States are related to Cardiometabolic diseases (Mueller, JAMA, 2017). According to the federally funded SCI National Database (Facts and Figures, SCIstats@uab.edu), while septicemia and pneumonia have remained the leading causes of death after SCI since the 1970s, endocrine, metabolic and nutritional diseases have seen a significant increase in the past ten years.