SCI Community Magazine
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Perspectives on Peer Support

Check this space to read about personal experiences of SCIO’s Peer Support program for people with an SCI.

Our Community’s Perspective on Peer Support @ SCIO

“My son Mark has been in hospital now two years after a spine injury which left him tetraplegic. There have been many ups and downs. But one of the most positive influences for Mark have been the visits he has received from the SCIO Peer Support Program. I have not been in attendance for all of them but have been there for a couple. As I listened to the kindness and empathy that was shared, as I listened to the honest open responses to questions that Mark asked, as I watched the enthusiasm for life that was evident, I was simply awed! Mark has had loving, giving, interesting, intelligent, sharing people visit him from the Peer Support Program. And it makes a huge difference! It’s not just a difference, however, for the patient; it is a huge difference for the caregivers when they too can ask questions and receive real and informative answers. My smile is always there when I see Mark happy. And I see him happy when a peer support volunteer visits. Thank you.”

“SCIO Is a very special organization. 17 years ago I was introduced to my peer mentor, Adrian, through the Peer Support program. It’s such a trying time in your life when you find yourself with a spinal cord injury. The future is truly unknown. Being able to see someone who has been at it for a while and has been very successful was extremely reassuring. As a Peer Support volunteer myself now, I’ve had a lot of first-hand knowledge of what this organization does. Their reach goes far beyond the hospital and into the community. Adrian‘s persistent attempt to get me to the tennis court is what made me the person I am today. Without SCIO that wouldn’t have been possible.”

– Gary Luker, SCIO Client, Volunteer & Tennis Canada Team Athlete

“There was no Peer Support when I was injured and I was left in the dark about how to live my life going forward. I then had a chance to see the benefits of the Peer Support service from SCIO, which is what inspired me to become a volunteer. I enjoy meeting new people which is one of the best parts of volunteering. I want to help others by providing them with knowledge and hope for their future. I want to help them to find something that will get passion back in their life.”

– David Baldwin, SCIO Volunteer

“I am now four years post injury. What slowly and gradually turned my life around was reaching out to my peers and being active in the SCI community. When I realized that I could still give and serve, I regained my purpose and meaning in life. Among the many advisory boards and projects that I am involved with right now, my greatest fulfillment comes from being a peer support volunteer at SCIO. I surely hope that my story and resilience will inspire many to never give up and to fight courageously in their own battle.”

– Chris Channon, SCIO Volunteer / Boardmember

“I like the practical elements of helping. For example, keeping in mind that people who have difficulty accessing medical services also don’t have the internet or Google. They need written resources and materials – hard copies. Or helping people achieve mobility outside the home. Basically, the practical side of life that reaches beyond a textbook: daily living, how to use equipment in the real world, how to network for resources. That’s where experience is invaluable.”

– Matt M., SCIO Peer Support Co-ordinator

Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

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