reeve foundation



For spring 2016 FTL Moda teamed up with Global Disability Inclusion and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to raise money and showcase #FashionFreeFromConfines. The runway show featured supermodels Adriana Lima and Toni Garrn alongside models with disabilities including Leslie Irby, Rebekah Marine, Shaholly Ayers and 18 year old Australian model Madeline Stuart who has down syndrome.


Reclaiming Fitspo: Alana Nichols

Alana Nichols is an adaptive athlete who competes in alpine skiing, basketball and sprint kayaking.

Born in 1983 in New Mexico, Nichols’ family frequently traveled to Colorado for snowboarding trips. At the age of 17, it was there that she suffered a spinal cord injury from an attempted backflip. Nichols was paralyzed from the waist down.

Nichols graduated from University of Arizona with Education degree and, two years later, obtained Master’s Degree in Kinesiology. It was here that she was introduced to competitive basketball: She joined the U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team in 2005, making her Paralympic Games debut in Beijing.

Strongly transitioning into adaptive sports, Nichols was the first American woman to win gold medals at both the Summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and Winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Olympic/Paralympic Games. She has won three medals in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup, won the first ever all female adaptive surf competition in history, was the most decorated U.S. female athlete of the 2010 Games (including both able-bodied and disabled competitors), and serves on the boards of EspnW, The Women’s Sports Foundation and The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Click here to see all #Reclaiming-Fitspo profiles.

There was this doctor.

He was Chief of Neurosurgery at a prestigious teaching hospital. I’d gone to him for a second opinion.

He said to me, “You need to stop wasting everyone’s time and start dealing with the reality of your situation. You’re not going to get better.”

I’m not paraphrasing. Those exact words. You don’t forget them.

His RN gave me a stack of things to read. There was a book about the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, a brochure on living with paraplegia, and one about how your life doesn’t have to be over now that walking and sex won’t be a part of it.


I walked five miles today.

I walk every day. This month I’ve averaged four miles a day. (Some days it was raining too hard.)

There’s one thing I want you to know. It’s not about miracles, it’s not about trying hard, it’s not about attitude, and it has nothing to do with who I am.

It’s that there are no crystal balls. Nobody can tell you what’s going to happen. That doctor wasn’t lying to me. He wasn’t being (excessively) cruel. He was giving me the best advice he knew how to give, based on how things have worked in his experience and what he had seen in other people.

If you ever get a hard diagnosis or a prediction of doom, remember: There are no crystal balls. They’re just guessing. Even if they’re really good at guessing, don’t treat what they say as certain. 

They’re just guessing.

Don’t distrust that feeling if you think they might be wrong.

Watch on

See Paralyzed Man Moving Legs with Spinal Device

Here’s the official list of the
Top 10 Things that Annoy
People who use Wheelchairs…

1.Able-bodied people parking in accessible parking spaces

2.Accessible bathroom stalls being used by an able-bodied person

3.Talking over my head as if I’m not here

4.Continuing to insist on helping me after I’ve said no thanks

5.Congratulating me for things like going to the grocery store like it’s worthy of an Olympic medal

6.Strangers asking what happened to me

7.Not inviting me to an event because you are protecting me from some frustration (let me figure it out)

8.Patting me on my head. Don’t.

9.Holding on to the back of my chair so I can’t move

10. Speaking slowly to me because I’m in a wheelchair

source: Reeve Foundation


kingjaffejoffer  asked:

Can I ask you about how you re-calibrated your desires and expectations you seek out of life since your accident? I'm assuming (maybe I'm wrong) that a lot of what you wanted to do wasn't possible anymore and that you kind of had to change your vision of what the rest of your life would be like. I realize this question is kind of broad. I'm mostly looking for your mindset pre-accident vs. post accident.

I’m actually still trying to figure things out you know? Even almost 9 yrs later. I mean I had 20 years before my injury to figure out and go toward what I wanted before my injury. I was a junior in college studying marketing. I wasn’t 100 about my exact moves after that but I knew I wanted to work in entertainment somewhere out of Dallas. I was even the vp of the Student Union Board(every event there came through us) and the new chairperson for the concerts committee of my school’s campus activities board. I was in the process of getting Chamillionaire a show there…it was 06 in TX lol. I went back and got my degree but with not being independent and super disabled lol it’s kind of hard to be able to continue with those duties and plans. Plus I wasn’t able to do internships and what not since I was commuting 45mins a few days a week.

So after finishing and not being able to get on any where I just continued to peer mentor at my old rehab. They had me mentoring while I was still a patient and when they actually started a program I was 1 of the 1st mentors. I’ve been flown out to speak at places. And as of the 17th I’m a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation mentor. So I kind of accidentally became more of a mentor than a marketer. I still want to do more…but in the mean time this is what I have. 

Now as far as more personal desires? I still want a family but maybe not as big now. One of the 1st questions I asked my doctor is if I could still have kids. He looked at me like I was stupid and said “of course, nothings wrong down there!” smh I knew nothing about SCI’s. Thought we couldn’t even have sex you know so I was lost. Of course the way I look at my self and relationships(fam, friends & love) has changed. People changed…good and bad, people up and left. But you know, I get it. I wasn’t the only one affected by my injury and it’s different for everyone in my life. Coming to understand that helped tremendously. 

So basically, yeah my outlook changed but not drastically. I still want pretty much the same stuff but on a smaller and more(currently) realistic scale. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but it’s one of the most positive things that’s happened in my life. I’m a better person. Been amazing places and met amazing people. It’s helped me analyze how able-bodied folks tend to view us sexually or otherwise. How the Black culture views us. The racial ish within the disabled community. I also don’t trip over peoples ignorance or me blaming my injury for my problems because I know if it weren’t this it would be something else. People just blame what they see. And most of all it’s given me more patience and faith. I know I am not in control and that gives me peace. It makes me pretty fearless. Before the accident I was that independent, in control female. But after, I was humbled like a muhfugga. I have plans but things wont always go that way but I know things will be alright eventually…so I chill. I hope this answered your question somewhere in here.

My injury took a lot of my independence but gave me a lot of peace.