If you didn't catch Tuesday's New York Time Health section, you probably missed this astounding story. I'll just give you my own headline.
THERE ARE A HELL OF A LOT MORE PARALYZED PEOPLE IN AMERICA THAN EVER IMAGINE!
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation commissioned a meticulously designed study to revisit the old guesses about this population and here's what they discovered:
* There are 5.6 MILLION people in the US paralyzed by a central nervous system disorder. That's almost 2% of the population.
* There are probably FIVE TIMES as many SCI paralytics out there as previously thought. The old number, seemingly writ in stone, was 250,000. The new number: 1.275 MILLION. Big dif.
* The number of people with paralysis due to MS -- where I more or less fit -- was estimated to be 939,000, which is TWICE the previous estimate of all people with the disease, period.
All of this leads me back to a question I have had since the day I became paralyzed. With all those paralyzed people, a majority of them in wheelchairs, I'd guess, how come I rarely see any of them in public? You go to IKEA on a Saturday, the place is filled because they're having a sale on cooking pots or something, and you'll see one or two wheelchair users, tops, and one of them is simply overweight. Strange. 2% of the population and it's virtually invisible.
Here's the Times link:
Back to you, Brian.