Our names are Brooke and Elena, and we both have partners who sustained recent Spinal Cord Injuries leaving them quadriplegics. We met online in 2017 and now run a sisterhood group called "WAGS of SCI" that now has thousands of women as members worldwide.
NOW is our time to give back to these women and couples we have met along the way.
Most of the women we have met in our community are struggling financially. The enormous cost associated with an SCI are huge - from medical supplies, equipment, modifications and medications - most of our couples experience extreme stress and heartache from crippling expenses. Statistics reveal that a higher level spinal cord injury can cost over one million dollars within the first few years of injury. We know from experience how crippling the costs of this life are, and understand the stress that financial pain can bring to any couple. They cannot afford to pay the costs associated to go on a "date night" or a vacation as a form of stress relief as they have to reserve it for other expenses to help their partner to live. Most of these couples do NOT have insurance, and have to rely on sparse government funding which barely covers their needs.
It's important to know: Spinal cord injury does not discriminate. It can happen to ANYONE, and if it happens to you or your partner, you lives change FOREVER. Almost every aspect of living daily life changes after a devastating injury like this happens. You no longer can control your bodily functions, have to rely on extensive medical supplies just to go to the bathroom, and for some (like our partners) your independence is taken away from you. A nervous system injury like SCI not only paralyzes your muscles, but the side effects that are dealt with on a daily basis can be catastrophic. Not only does this injury take a toll on your body, but it also takes a huge toll on your finances, stress level, mental state and relationships.
They say 80% of relationships end after a Spinal Cord Injury. ..
We decided to not be a statistic.
The Group - No Woman Should Ever Feel Alone Again
After meeting over Instagram in 2017, we realized the power of sisterhood and connecting with someone else who was going through a similar story. We had been alone in our situations prior to meeting, and had no way of talking to other women who understood the complications and celebrations of this lifestyle. There were no other support groups out there who focused on OUR needs as a caregiver/lover. We felt sad, lonely, and unvalidated in our emotions.
Soon after connecting, we decided to start an outreach and support group for Women who are standing alongside their injured partners. We found that there was nothing out there available to us as far as support and awareness, and set out to create a network of women around the world who share our unique dynamic of caregiver AND lover to their partners.
We are not only caregiver's to our men but we have chosen to live this life with our partners. Balancing our role of caregiver and romantic partner can be challenging, but we refuse to let any disability get in the way of enjoying our lives with the men we love.
Over the past 2 years while running this group we have seen how IMPORTANT it is to maintain your romantic life and how even a dinner out or a night away can change the course of any relationship. The fact is: sometimes going on dates/mini vacations or just "getting out" is too hard to do for couples like us. With piling medical bills, stressful circumstances and medical needs, sometimes its too difficult to put the effort in to spoil one another by enjoying nights out or romantic time together.
What is our goal of this fundraiser?
We believe in our couples. We believe in relationships. We believe in creating healthy, long lasting relationships even after you experience something as devastating and life changing as an SCI. We believe in the power a dinner out or a night away can do to change the course of any relationship that is under stress due to unfortunate circumstances. Our goal of this fundraiser is to:
- MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE: Provide respite to women who are in need of SELF CARE time by organizing spa visits, massages, counselling and other much needed time away to invest in stress relief for these women who need it so desperately and cannot afford this on their own.
- Provide relief to couples by sending them on much needed accessible "Date Nights" in their cities and include transportation money, and other costs associated with "going out."
- Organize romantic weekends away where the costs of transportation, accommodation and rental equipment is arranged and looked after so that they can enjoy one another.
- Provide financial assistance to couples freshly out of the hospital to help them with adjusting to their new lives.
- Assist in the fees required to have our official foundation approved by the government of Canada.
Our goal is to eventually have a official foundation where tax receipts can be provided, but in the meantime, we need this fundraiser to assist meantime. You can make a BIG difference and help us give other relationships a break by raising awareness and funds. Let's show this community that we DO believe in LOVE and we DO believe in celebrating relationships.
We will be providing updates and stories on how the funds are being donated, monthly.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for contributing to our movement and community! Change is in the hearts of all of us.
-The WAGS of SCI
- Emilie Kane
- joan athey
- Chalyce Attwell
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