By Lorraine ‘Lolly’ Mack
Having the time of her life, travelling, fun jobs which she loved, Lolly liked to party and even won Party Girl of the Year in a national newspaper. She was loving life but all changed in an instant. She was paralysed!
We speak to Lolly and a group of truly inspirational women across the world living with a spinal cord injury and have one mission- to make chronic spinal cord injury CURABLE!
The Cure Girls are fighting for the 2.5 million people worldwide living with paralysis to find a cure. We spend everyday working together finding ways to support medical research, organising fundraising initiatives, campaigning and raising awareness.
The reason behind these images is at this moment in time it’s not very PC to speak out and say WE WANT A CURE as we are looked upon at being sad or deluded or not accepting and getting on with our lives. Well, we are not depressed or deluded and we still live our lives to the fullest BUT behind our smiles and make-up on these glamorous pictures there are women struggling to be free and independent again and only a cure can give us that! We won’t just accept destiny and move on with our lives but we are fighting to make the impossible, POSSIBLE! There are people living with high level injuries like the late Christopher Reeve, who cannot even breathe unaided and we are a voice for all. When you look at us you may think that there is nothing wrong but in fact we want to tell it how it really is living with a spinal cord injury and the importance of a cure for us.
We want to walk on the beach and feel the sand in our toes, hug and hold hands with our loved ones.
Only a cure can give us this back!
Having the time of my life, travelling, fun jobs which I loved. I worked in the beauty industry for prestigious companies and had many clients who became dear friends also many celebrity clientele. I loved to party and won Party Girl of the Year in a national newspaper, did some filming after being whisked of to Spain for Sky TV and also photoshoots, living the dream and loving life but all changed in an instant!
I was injured back in 2004 on a night out with friends. I was in a nightclub and a man came off a balcony above me, landing on my head and leaving me paralysed at c4/5 level from the shoulders down. Confined to a wheelchair and needing 24 hour care, my dream is to regain my independence and do even the smallest things that people take for granted like dressing myself, doing my own hair etc. Not only can I not walk I don’t have hand function also. Paralysis is not the only issue we have to deal with.
These are what we are constantly battling with, consequences of sci (spinal cord injury):
– 50% loss of breathing capacity
– Chronic neuropathic pain
– Constant bladder infections
– Having to be on medication
– Unable to cough unassisted
– Risk of pressure sores
– Regular visits to hospital for health checks on major organs, bladder, bone scans
– Muscle wastage
– Psychological problems
– Swollen joints
– 24 hr care if you’re a tetraplegic like myself
– Weight problems-not burning calories
– High cholesterol
– Have to do regular physiotherapy to maintain health
So as you can see, this is why we want a cure for paralysis. We miss our active, healthy lives and want them back! Spinal cord injury does not just impact the person it happens too but all their families too.
This is why we do what we do and raise money for a cure as research is not funded by the government at all. I’ve done many things and held fundraising events for cure.. Even jumping out of a plane raising over £3,000 for Spinal Research. In all I’ve raised over £40,000 for vital research for a cure. We all need to fundraise & do whatever we can to speed up the process of a possible cure so that it will happen sooner rather than later!
I was only 17 years old when I was involved in a car accident with my family which left me paraplegic. I am an active person with an extremely busy life, a graduate, I have full time job and is politically engaged but I don’t want to spend the rest of her life confined to a wheelchair so I decided to create the Cure Girls blog. I work very hard on a daily basis with the Cure
Girls and I spend a lot of time to raising awareness and fundraising so that it gets donated directly to research initiatives that focus on curing chronic spinal cord injury.
At present I’m a student of psychology at the University of Bologna but at time of my injury I was a professional cyclist and had a promising career in Italian cycling. In June, 2010 I had a very serious accident during my cycling training when a car cut me up making me come crashing off my cycle. Since that terrible day my life has changed radically. I was taken to hospital with very serious conditions then went into a coma, I came out of the coma on June the 9th which was my 22nd birthday. Since that day I’ve been paralysed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, because of a spinal cord injury. In spite of the many difficulties I face and the obstacles that a paralysed person has to face on a daily basis that doesn’t make me lose the will to fight in order to have my healthy, active life back. During the long period which I spent in hospitals and rehabilitation centres, which is still going on, I really discovered the pain of human cases that are even more dramatic and awful than mine. It is for this reason that with my family and closest friends I set up the non-profit Marina Romoli Onlus with the aim to support research focused on research into therapies able to cure spinal cord injuries, but also helps people under 30 under who have been involved in sports and have been victims of road accidents. We help them financially in order to help them pay the very expensive costs of therapies and rehabilitation. My charity has raised over 200.000€.
You can help us is our quest find a cure by contacting us, donating or supporting us here.
Find them on Facebook Cure Girls and a big shout out to Photographer Michelle George for more great shots x