The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center says there are approximately 12,500 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) each year and that about 276,000 people in the U.S. are living with a spinal cord injury.

Less than 1 percent of people who suffer a spinal cord injury experience complete neurologic recovery by the time they leave the hospital. About 45 percent suffer from some loss of movement or sensation in the arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs. Approximately 21 percent have incomplete paraplegia — some loss of movement or sensation in all or part of the legs and/or pelvic organs.

In New York City and in Upstate New York, many organizations provide support to SCI victims and their families. Among the spinal cord injury support groups in New York are:
New York City
Montefiore Medical Center
111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY 10467

phone-ico(718) 920-4321

The spinal cord injury support group, “The Challengers at Montefiore,” meets at regular intervals to deal with issues occurring in the community as well as access and integration to other national and regional organizations.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association Greater New York Chapter
Mount Sinai Hospital
5 East 102nd Street
New York, NY 10029

phone-icoJim Cesario at (212) 824-8369 or Sugenny Flowers at (212) 584-2500

Meets: 1 to 2 p.m. on the first Friday of the month in the Do-IT! Conference Room at Outpatient Rehab.

The website says: “People with SCI, their families and friends are welcome to come and share their experiences, problem-solve and work together to empower independence and maximize quality of life after spinal cord injury.” Specially trained peer mentors with SCI/Disorder run each meeting.

Upstate New York
Burke Rehabilitation Center
785 Mamoroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605

phone-icoMark Herceg, Ph.D., (914) 597-2889 or Stella Marino, LMSW at (914) 597-2321

Meets:4:30 to 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month in the Wood Pavilion, Bldg. No. 7, Harris Parlor

The Spinal Cord Injury Support Group is free and open to anyone in the community affected by a spinal cord injury, including patients, families and caregivers.

Helen Hayes Hospital Center for Rehabilitation Technology
51-55 Route 9W North
West Haverstraw, NY 10993

phone-icoMatthew Castelluccio at 845-786-4950

Meets: 6 to 8 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the 2nd floor Dining Room

Among an array of support groups that are open to the community at Helen Hayes is the Spinal Cord Injury/Amputee group, which is open to individuals living with SCI and amputation, their families and friends. Meetings include guest speakers and open discussions, and are available via webcast.

Long Island Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center
Testeverde Fund for Spinal Cord Injury
3445 Edgerton Avenue
Wantagh, NY 11793

phone-ico(516) 221-9255

The LISCIRC crisis team is prepared to visit with families, talk with them about their ordeal, and provide information about where to go for help with housing, wheelchair accessibility issues, Social Security, Medicaid, etc.

Spinal Cord Injury Network of Central New York
635 James Street
Syracuse, New York, 13203

phone-icoTammy Bartoszek at (315) 464-2337 or Maria Froio at (315) 247-0927

Meets: ARISE
This group does not meet on a regular basis. Call for information.

St. Charles Hospital
SCI & Caregiver Support Group
200 Belle Terre Road
Port Jefferson, NY 11777

phone-icoLorraine Sawyer at (631) 474-6489

Meets: 6 to 8 p.m. in the 1st floor board room.

The group is for individuals with spinal cord injuries and/or disorders and their caregivers. There will be food and refreshments. Please RSVP.

63 West Main St, Suite H
Freehold, NJ 07728

phone-ico(800) 838-0879

WellSpouse groups provide peer support and education about the special challenges and unique issues that spousal care givers face every day. Find groups in New York.

Apparelyzed is a free spinal cord injury peer support website run by individuals with spinal cord injuries. It publishes a variety of information and hosts discussion forms about more than a dozen SCI topics.
Backbones provides free support for people with spinal cord injury and their families. The network of users facilitates telephone, in-person or web-based connections, and encourages growth by the sharing of experiences and ideas. See also @backbones on Twitter.
CareCure Community is a group of more than 70 forums, blogs and articles sponsored by Rutgers University.
The Spinal Cord Injury Information Pagesis a free and informative resource for those living with a spinal cord injury or other disabling injuries or diseases of the spine. It is meant to be a “best of the web” site for SCI health and caregiver information.

Note that the circumstances of support groups may change with little notice. If your support group is not listed here or different information is appropriate, please contact the Hecht Kleeger & Damashek Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center to let us know.