National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month: The Financial Burden of a Medical Crisis

SCImonthSeptember is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, so we have been increasing our efforts this month to shed light on the medical expenses associated with catastrophic injuries. While many people are aware of the physical implications of a spinal cord injury (SCI), not everyone realizes just how prevalent these debilitating injuries are. There are currently about 200,000 people living with SCI in the United States. Every 48 seconds another person suffers this type of injury.[1] SCI affects people of all genders, ages, races and ethnicities. As the Reeve Foundation puts it, we’re all just one degree of separation away from someone whose life has been affected by SCI.

One reason these injuries are so devastating is because there is no way to anticipate a sudden catastrophic accident that might permanently damage the spinal cord. According to the CDC, almost half of all SCI incidents are the result of motor vehicle accidents.[2] As many of our readers know all too well, SCI is life changing. Even simple tasks that are usually taken for granted like a quick trip to the grocery store or your daily morning routine include new challenges. In many cases homes and automobiles must be renovated for accessibility, and alternative arrangements with a workplace may have to be made.

Spinal cord injury can also place a tremendous financial burden on families. According to the CDC, the estimated lifetime cost of SCI can range from a minimum of $500,000 to upwards of $3 million depending on the severity.[3] Of course there are the high medical bills that stem from SCI, but even with insurance, families affected are often surprised by the unforeseen costs. The home and automobile renovations are expensive. Exercise-based rehab and home healthcare programs often exceed the limits of insurance coverage and must be paid for out of pocket. Uninsured expenses due to SCI can pile up quickly, and many individuals and families affected by a SCI need help covering these costs.

At HelpHOPELive, we understand the serious emotional and financial burdens that come with SCI, and we work together with patients and their families to provide support on both fronts. We have helped over 800 people after a catastrophic injury, and have provided more than $26 million in financial support to cover uninsured expenses. Our fundraising experts have helped bring in community donations to cover recovery-based therapies, home healthcare, new transportation options and more.

By encouraging community involvement and participation, HelpHOPELive builds a supportive local network that can help families affected by SCI raise funds to offset the high costs of treatment and recovery, while also providing a sense of comfort and independence. For more information on how we can help, or to plan your own fundraising drive, visit our website.

 

[1] http://www.spinalcord.org/september-is-national-spinal-cord-injury-awareness-month-2/

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/scifacts.html

[3] http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/scifacts.html

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