Resident Helped Launch Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
When Newtown resident Lynn Simoneau became disabled in her senior year of high school, she realized it was extremely difficult to find a community of people she could turn to that understood what she was going through.
To fill that void for others feeling similarly isolated, she began developing the idea for a spinal cord injury support group that could offer resources as well as peer mentoring.
With the assistance of Paul Pateracki of Danbury, who also has a spinal cord injury, she developed a charter, code of conduct, and an official logo for the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of Greater Danbury and officially launched it in 2017.
The organization is focused on creating a positive environment where its members, both newly injured and those who have been injured for longer, can help one another.
“Being able to talk to someone who has traveled the road before you is a great help because when something like this happens to you, you don’t know what to do,” Ms Simoneau explained. “You feel incredibly alone because those around you are able-bodied. You don’t even see someone else who is in a [wheel]chair.”
When people come to Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of Greater Danbury, she says, there is an unspoken sense of community because everyone instantly has a common bond.
The support group meets on the third Sunday of the month, from 2 to 4 pm, at the Walnut Hill Community Church, 156 Walnut Hill Road, Bethel. Registration is not necessary, and people can attend when they feel comfortable.
Ms Simoneau encourages those with spinal cord injuries to try out the meeting and know that not only can they benefit from the experience, but so can the other members by having them there.
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