Mind over matter: a Quadriplegic Doctor’s mission to protect people’s brains
Today I learn that every 23 seconds, a person in the US sustains a traumatic brain injury and that brain injury is the leading killer and disabler of children and young adults in the US. I am talking to a man who takes care of people with brain injuries on a daily basis.
His name is Dr. Glen House - he is a rehab physician in Colorado Springs and participant in this year’s Pikes Peak Challenge, an annual fundraising climb up 14,110 foot Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.
The objective? To raise money to support brain injury survivors and their families, and to create much needed awareness for the prevention of brain injury.
While the some 450 yearly participants (around 30 of which are survivors of brain injury) hike up the 13 miles or 7,400 vertical feet to the summit via the regular Barr Trail, the former body builder and extreme skier cannot do so. Dr. House is a C7 quadriplegic and is wheeling himself up the dirt road in his eMotion Wheel assisted wheelchair.
“I have been a C7 quadriplegic since the age of 20, some 21 years ago,” says Dr. House. “This leaves me with normal deltoid, shoulders, triceps, and bicep function, but very limited hand function. I can’t tie my shoes, button my shirt...that sort of thing... but I can push a wheel chair.”
Dr. House says he has been training strong for 2 months – cross training both for strength with a normal wheelchair and then endurance training using the e-Motion technology. “This challenge is one of both will power and technology. If it wasn’t for this technology, I wouldn’t be able to do it.” He says that without the eMotion assist, it would be the equivalent of going up with a 1-speed bike.
“The Pikes Peak Challenge is such a great and important cause to create awareness for prevention of brain injury. Every helmet put on counts and makes a difference,” says Dr. House.
He hopes to not only make a difference through his participation in this challenge, but also through disseminating his messages through his new show on Health Radio. “We have a mountain to face every day of our lives – it’s important not to get dissuaded but to keep setting one goal after the other and going after it.”