012 – Matt Fritsch – The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Community

 

“To hear from and learn from people who are in the same position…there’s nothing that compares to it.”

 

A lot of our focus lately has been of Friedreich’s ataxia or FA – the disease that both of us share. And that shouldn’t be a big surprise. FA has had a huge impact on us – it has forced us to see life in a different way and adapt. We have each had friends that have helped shape that impact. One of those friends is Matt Fritsch. Matt has a spinal cord injury and in this episode he joins us for a conversation about how community is essential for all of us no matter what disability we have.

Matt Fritsch Hand Cycle

“[Being disabled] is an exclusive club that no one joins on purpose…the parking is a right, not a privilege.”

Matt gives a few tips about navigating life with a disability. One of his most fundamental points is that we cannot do it on our own; that even though doctors, nurses, therapists, and surgeons gave him the same advice, he didn’t pay much attention to what they said, until it was told to him by someone within the spinal-cord injury community.

 

The need of community for those with disabilities is great. It’s easy to ignore the well-meaning advice and help from others, but when it comes from someone with the same challenges that you are facing – the advice suddenly seems much more important. This applies both within the SCI and FA communities, and among all those facing the challenge of disability.

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