Milton Young: Offering Help and Hope
On July 23, 2003, Milton Young fell off a bike - the kind with pedals, not with an engine - and his life was changed forever. He was totally paralyzed for 3 months. Now, he is a "quad incomplete," which means that he can walk a bit and use his hands, but still has some paralysis from his injury. But, when asked how his injury has changed his life, he says it made him thank God for still being alive and being able to help other people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) adjust to living with their injury, showing them that they can live a good and happy life with SCI.
That Milton would think of others first is not surprising. He enjoys being active and coaching football, where he mentors young men on life, being a good man, father, and person, pushing them to give back to other people. Milton is also an advocate for people with SCI. He is a member of the Buckeye Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), where he serves on the board of directors and acts as a Hospital Liaison Officer. He enjoys the work he does on the SCI floors in the hospital because he shows the patients there that they have someone who will listen and understand what they are going through and is willing to fight for their rights. He helps watch over them to make sure they are getting the proper medical treatment. Most of all, he shows them that they are not alone.
Milton learned about the CDMRP's Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP) in an email from PVA in 2009. He has found his time as a consumer advocate reviewer to be educational and a great experience. He feels that the scientific community is working hard to find a cure for SCI, and he applauds the efforts directed at finding different ways and developing new devices that can help those with SCI live more of a normal life, with dignity and respect. After serving as a reviewer, he can come back to other patients with news about SCI research and let them know that there is hope, and that there are people out there who care and are trying to make their lives better.
Milton said, "My injury has really let me know how much inner strength God blessed me with." Now, he is helping others have strength.