Paralyzed Woman, Photographer & Dog Hit The Road To Raise Research Awareness

By Jamie Leary

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – When it comes to living with a spinal cord injury, searching for a cure can be what some call a fool’s errand. It’s definitely a phrase Kelsey Peterson, a former dancer and now C-6 quadriplegic, has heard before. It hasn’t stopped her from looking.

Peterson is hitting the road her dog and photographer Madeline Brown to show others how far research has come. Her project is called The Cure Map, and since January, she has been on the road, visiting with the medical community.

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Kelsey Peterson (credit: CBS)

Craig Hospital in Englewood has been at the top of her list and on April 5 she made that happen.

“So Craig is an important step because of what they are doing, the excellence they strive for, and the many years that they’ve been doing it. The people they hire, the facility; when you go into it, it’s really nice. You see all these awesome options you have to make your body stronger and to learn and to adapt,” Peterson said.

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Kelsey Peterson (credit: CBS)

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Kelsey Peterson (credit: CBS)

Craig Hospital is one of the top facilities in the world for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The research department has a staff of 22 with an annual budget of $3.8 million in grants devoted to spinal cord injury rehabilitation research. The money funds projects ranging from finding ways to reinvent yourself after suffering a spinal cord injury, to stem cell research.

Peterson knows she may not find all the answers but if there is a cure to be found, Craig Hospital has some of the brightest minds in the world working on it.

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Kelsey Peterson (credit: kickstarter.com)

Peterson was injured on July 4, 2012 in a diving accident in Wisconsin at the age of 27. Still on what she calls an evolving path to acceptance, she is searching for answers and a way to spread awareness about spinal cord injuries (SCI).

“To educate the world about current spinal cord injury research; why it always seems so close, yet so far away, and to inspire faith in its future. To share the many stories of people affected by paralysis and whose everyday lives are filled with arduous moments that so many of us take for granted.” Peterson wrote.

To follow Peterson on her journey, or to donate to her projectvisit her Facebook page.

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