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Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Welcomes Robin Wilson-Beattie as a Community Ambassador

Friday, August 13, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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SHORT HILLS, N.J., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center today announced that a new community ambassador has joined in its efforts to spread awareness about paralysis: Robin Wilson-Beattie is the voice of the Georgia Area Radio Reading Service program "Disability Rights – a Two Minute Advocacy Training Session."

In January 2004, Robin Wilson-Beattie began experiencing some unusual problems with her body.  Her legs began to go out from under her, and she noticed she was losing sensation in her lower torso. After several tests, it turned out that Robin had an extremely rare birth defect, called an intramedullary arteriovenous malformation (AVM) located inside her spinal cord, connected to the main artery. This was beginning to bleed, and the pressure from the bleeding was what was causing the physical problems. What made it even more rare and dangerous was that it was located inside the spinal cord itself, at the C-4 level.

"One week before the surgery my doctors insisted I needed to remove the AVM, I found out I was pregnant," says Robin. "I saw my unborn child as the hope I needed to carry on, so rather than terminate my pregnancy, I decided to go ahead with the surgery. When I awoke from it, I learned I was now a person, with a C-4 incomplete spinal cord injury."

After a grueling pregnancy and several months of physical and occupational therapy, education, and treatment at the Shepherd Center, Robin delivered a healthy baby girl. Rather than allow her acquired disability to place limits on her life, she found new inspiration and purpose. She now is heavily involved in local and national advocacy for the disabled.

Robin's current goal is to develop a youth advocacy program, so that young people with disabilities can learn how to self-advocate, in order to live independent lives in their communities, as adults. She is employed as a youth advocacy coordinator at disABILITY LINK, a Center for Independent Living. First and foremost, however, she is the mother of a remarkable five-year-old girl.  Robin lives in Atlanta, Ga., with her family.  

Located in Short Hills, N.J., the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation that offers resources on spinal cord injury, paralysis and mobility-related disabilities. The PRC's mission is to be a comprehensive, national source of information for people living with paralysis and their caregivers to promote health, foster involvement in the community and improve quality of life. It provides quality information on paralysis in a variety of ways; through highly-trained Information Specialists who can be contacted via telephone at 800-539-7309 or e-mail; through in-person visits to its offices; or through its National Clearinghouse Library of paralysis-related publications available for free loan through interlibrary loan programs. For more information, please visit www.paralysis.org.

SOURCE The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center

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