Robert Wudlick
Robert Wudlick
Photo provided by Robert Wudlick.

Rob Wudlick has always liked doing things outdoors with his friends. That’s what he was doing in 2011 on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon when he broke his neck in a diving accident. As Rob says, "I have had to make many life changes, of course. I used to be extremely outdoors-oriented, from rafting, backcountry skiing, climbing, and more. This passion is still at the core of my soul, which drives me to work for treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) and keep my body in shape for any treatments that are coming. Having a high level injury that has rendered me without most of the use of my arms has made me develop ways of working to adapt to get basic things done."

He still likes being outside with friends, and his energy and passion have driven him to roles in SCI advocacy with Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis, Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, and the United Spinal Association. Rob participated in the lobbying efforts that led to the establishment, in 2015, of the state-funded Minnesota Spinal Cord & Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program.

More recently, Rob has been one of the consumer reviewers for the SCIRP, and describes the experience of participating in the decision-making process for research funding as positive and enriching.

Rob says that having been able to connect with researchers who study SCI has introduced him to researchers and clinicians who are committed to reaching a day where they are able to give better treatments to improve the lives of those living with these injuries.

For Rob, "advocating for SCI is like running a long relay race with many different paths. We all have one finish line (the cure), but there are many things that must be done to get there. There are many ways to run this path, from self-education, talking to researchers, advocating to government officials, raising funds for research, and participating in programs like SCIRP." What does it take? "Determination!"

Last updated Tuesday, October 13, 2020