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    If this guy has THAT much strength in his upper body, why isn't he walking in braces rather than being wheelchair bound? It seems to me that the BIGGEST obstacle should be getting OUT of the chair.

    TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian paralympian Jeff Adams climbed the 1,776 stairs of the world largest tower in a wheelchair to show the disabled world some of the biggest obstacles can be overcome.

    Adams, a four-time competitor at the Paralympics, believes stairs are among the biggest barriers to people in wheelchairs.

    "The best part of living is standing up to a barrier," Adams told reporters.

    Adams, 31, is the first person to attempt and complete climbing Toronto's CN Tower in a wheelchair. It took some five hours to climb Thursday, moving backwards in a specially made wheelchair, the inside staircase of the tower that dominates the skyline of Canada's most populous city.

    "It's so outside the box and also something you never thought was possible in a wheelchair," he said.

    The challenge was part of his campaign to raise money for a program run by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons that addresses some of the challenges faced by the disabled.

    Adams started the program after he was asked to leave a restaurant where his wheelchair was considered a fire hazard.

    "We decided to respond to the negative situation in a positive way," he said.

    At the age of nine when he was struck with Transverse Myelitis, a disorder that sometimes results in the loss of movement in the legs, Adams quickly learned that stairs were his biggest foe.

    Adams has won 12 medals at Paralympic games, two silvers at World Championships and was the prior World Record holder in the 1,500m men's wheelchair event.

    According to his fund-raising group, donations topped $63,000
    Eric Texley

    Maybe he doesn't use braces because it's too much of a hassel, and they hurt
    his arms too much? Most paras who have that much strength find it easier to get around in a wheelchair. Getting around in braces and crutches can be ackward (sp?) and more painful to use than a wheelchair. It also takes alot of time to put the braces on; time that a person using a wheelchair could use to get ready and roll out the door. My guess is that he doesn't use braces himself for personal reasons, whatever those may be. Going up that tower in a wheelchair was a good thing. This proved to ABs and people who can't get out of their wheelchairs that obstacles CAN be overcome.


      My daughter, Karen, had exceptional upper body strength, and when they first put her in the parallel bars in the acute care hospital, she could hold herself up by her arm strength, even though her legs didn't work. When she got to the Rehab Hospital, they would not let her use the parallel bars, or rely on her arms to hold her up as they wanted to 'force her legs to work'. It took a long time for her to be able to make her legs move..........but it was worth it. She walks with braces and two canes and is still making progress in Rehab.....after a year.

      I am sure every case is different, but for Karen it was the right way for her.



        That's a very innovative rehab hospital...where did you go?

        It's interesting that Project Walk says they discourage spinal cord from weight training and building upper body strength. It seems to me the problem is that using one's upper body in a repeated manner without training the cooperative muscles (for instance...triceps for dips AND pull ups for biceps) can cause problems in the joints and shoulders.

        Rehab science needs to evolve to a point where we teach return as well as injury prevention. I don't believe that they have to be mutually exclusive.
        Eric Texley


          On the other hand....

          "We decided to use a negative situation in a positive way"

          my friend said to me "Eric, this injury can be a grave stone or a stepping stone."
          Eric Texley


            Hi Eric,

            I love what your friend said to you about the gravestone or stepping stone. That is so true!

            Karen was at Parkwood Rehab Hospital in London, Ontario. I want to clarify that she had good upper and lower body strength before her injury, enabling her to hold herself up on the parallel bars. They did not want her to use just her upper body strength, they wanted her legs to be able to hold her up. This was achieved (eventually) by PT's on either side of her holding her arms up (she was not allowed to hold onto them, they held her), one PT in front moving her legs, one PT behind her holding her hips (and moving them?), and a wheelchair following them all. It was very labour intensive - for all concerned. I sincerely applaud them all for spending so much time on our daughter. I have learned from this site that not all SCI Rehab centre's are willing to do that. She also had lots of pool therapy that helped a lot too and just plain hours and hours of stretching.

            She now desperately wants to try to run, so her PT has agreed to hold onto her while she is on the treadmill to try and achieve this. They just tried it the other day, and she lands on her toes,(drop foot), so she has to go back to her original AFO's and try it again (she is on her 3rd set of braces).

            I don't know what the answer to 'recovery' is, but I know it doesn't just magically happen. You have to encourage and MAKE it happen...........and I also know that sometimes no matter how much one does........sometimes it sadly just will not happen. (until that damn cure comes).

            My heart goes out to everyone with SCI.