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OKASA Adaptive Sports & Wheelchair Basketball

by Jessica May 4 2018 08:15
okasa adaptive sports wheelchair basketball

Adaptive sports create opportunities for physically challenged and disabled people of all ages to be able to participate in recreational and team-based activities, including wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, martial arts and more. We have witnessed first-hand how lives can be positively impacted by getting to take part in adaptive sports like this, whether after a spinal cord injury or a lifetime with a medical condition that limits mobility. 

This is a huge reason why we always jump at the chance to be a part of the OU Medicine Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, which benefits a local adaptive sports organization known as Oklahoma Adaptive Sports Association (OKASA). This tournament is one of our favorite events to attend and sponsor, and 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of this awesome event.

Find out more about the tournament this year as well as the importance of OKASA's role in the local community, and how you can find an adaptive sports organization near you!

okc wheels of thunder and 180 medical team

OU Medicine Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

Each year, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff from OU Medicine team up to take on Oklahoma Adaptive Sports Association's (OKASA) wheelchair basketball team, the Wheels of Thunder (formerly known as the Blaze). These hardworking, compassionate people play an integral role in setting up and rolling this tournament forward in order to support OKASA, and we at 180 Medical are so proud and honored to be able to help sponsor this event annually too.

180 medical cheering wheels of thunder180 Medical employees are always excited to be able to bring their families and friends to watch the games at Oklahoma City University's (OCU) Freede Wellness Center after work. In addition to making fun signs and collecting gift cards for a donation basket for the event's silent auction, we were glad to volunteer time at the popcorn booth to help raise even more funds for OKASA and cheer all of the teams on as the Oklahoma City Thunder drummers played.

Of course, this awesome team always manages to beat our team of 180 Medical employees, along with just about everyone else that plays against them.

In fact, their team members are all so skilled that they recently competed in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association's (NWBA) national junior varsity championship. With their immense talent on the court and a passion for the sport, we suspect they'll move forward to qualify again next year as well. 

okasa wheels of thunder wheelchair basketball teamOklahoma City Thunder Drummers with the team (Wheels of Thunder)

All About OKASA

playing adaptive wheelchair basketballOKASA is a fantastic organization in Oklahoma that works to support both kids and adults who live with physical disabilities such as spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, and more.

OKASA exists to promote opportunities for health and fitness for the disabled through adaptive sporting options like wheelchair basketball. 

Many of their activities offered include:

  • Racing
  • Competitive weight-lifting
  • Water sports (swimming, kayaking, etc.)
  • Track & Field
  • and more!
Physical activity through organizations like OKASA promotes better health, confidence, and improved overall well-being of the disabled or physically challenged. Adaptive sports participation can also help the physically disabled or spinal cord injured people enjoy many of the activities they loved before their injuries or have always wanted to try. 

For many, participation through adaptive sports is a way for people to make new lifelong friendships with others who understand their conditions on a personal level. 

baseball best friends

Because of this and more, the annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is not only one of the funnest events of the year for 180 Medical, it's also an important cause close to our hearts.

We truly feel blessed to be able to help contribute to funding for new equipment and opportunities for OKASA and all of their athletes.

How to Find An Adaptive Sports Organization in Your Area

Are you seeking a way to get started with some adaptive sports and activities?

OKASA is a member of the following organizations, and these links may be a great place to start:

You can also go to this link to find local adaptive sports opportunities and clubs, thanks to U.S. Paralympics.

Find out more about OKASA's mission and their programs or discover ways to help out at

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 9 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

MTG Eagle Board for Quadriplegic Self-Catheterizing

by Mason April 6 2018 05:37
mtg eagle board for quadriplegic self catheterization

My name is Mason Ellis. I was involved in a car accident during my senior year of high school, which rendered me quadriplegic with a C5 spinal cord injury. You can read more about my story here. Since then, I have been actively working on beating my spinal cord injury every day.

It's my goal to use my experience to help and inspire others. I like to peer mentor and volunteer when I can, and one of my primary ways of reaching out to others with spinal cord injuries is through my YouTube channel.  My wide variety of original videos include educational information about quadriplegia, including what tenodesis is and why quadriplegics sometimes experience spasms, as well as helpful how-to videos like dressing yourself as a quadriplegic.

mason ellis

Self-Cathing After a Spinal Cord Injury

After a spinal cord injury, catheterizing may be a necessity, depending on your level of injury. Using intermittent catheters can keep your bladder from over-filling and prevent leakage. However, self-cathing can be difficult if you are a quadriplegic with poor hand dexterity. 

When I was first injured as a C5 quadriplegic, I was unable to self-cath until about a year after my injury. That's when 180 Medical introduced me to the MTG EZ-Gripper® closed system catheter. 

Another helpful product I recently discovered that can help quadriplegics and others with limited hand dexterity with the process of catheterization is the MTG Eagle™ Board. The Eagle™ Board, manufactured by MTG (Medical Technologies of Georgia), was created to help catheter-users with low or limited dexterity perform self-catheterization on their own.

This adaptive cathing board, pictured below, is designed to be used with the MTG EZ-Gripper® closed system catheter and works to help with inserting your catheter into the bladder. 

mtg eagle board pictured with ez gripper catheter

MTG Eagle™ Board's Features

The MTG Eagle™ Board has many features that can help male catheter-users who live with poor hand dexterity, whether due to a spinal cord injury or another condition like transverse myelitis or spina bifida.

The MTG Eagle™ Board's unique features include:

Repositionable "Wings"
The adjustable wings on the bottom of the Eagle Board allow it to rest comfortably between your thighs at just the right angle so your urine will flow easily into your closed system catheter bag.

mtg eagle board on catheter user's lapPants Hook
The adjustable pants hook holds your pants down for you, which frees your hands and makes catheterizing much easier.

Thumb Holes
There are two thumb or finger holes near the top of the Eagle Board that allow you to easily maneuver it between your legs or pick it up with minimal effort.

Housing Clip
The housing clip works to lock the catheter down to the Eagle Board securely, leaving your hands free. 

Penile Lever
The magnetic penile lever sets the penis in place for inserting the catheter tube. 

Foam Pads
The foam pads are used to keep soft contact against your skin and can be adjusted for different body types and even replaced if worn down after many uses.

Allen Screws
The Allen screws are used to tighten the adjustable wings, which keeps the board at the proper angle for inserting the catheter tube. 

Convenient for those with latex allergies. 

Convenient Size & Design
The Eagle Board is also small and compact enough that you can carry it in a backpack or briefcase with ease wherever you go. If you get it dirty, it's easy to wash off and dry or wipe down with an antibacterial wipe, so you can reuse it every time you self-cath.

mtg eagle board for self cathing

How to Use the MTG Eagle™ Board

Take a look at my full video explaining how to use the MTG Eagle™ Board to get closer look at the size and shape of this helpful adaptive cathing accessory. I discuss and point out each of its features and give you a step-by-step tutorial of how to use the Eagle™ Board as a part of your cathing routine. 

Once you adjust the wings for the proper angle and attach the MTG EZ-Gripper® catheter, supplied by 180 Medical, press down on the blue handle (gripper) on the catheter tube and move your hand toward yourself to insert the tube into your urethra until it reaches the bladder and your urine starts to flow into the bag. I also have a video showing how to use the MTG EZ-Gripper®, if you'd like to learn more about this particular closed system catheter.

I have found that the MTG Eagle™ Board allows for easy catheter insertion because it provides a flat surface to press the catheter against.

180 medical catheterization instructional materials dvd and bookletIf you are newly injured or cannot self-catheterize due to limited hand dexterity, the MTG Eagle™ Board may be a great place to start in order to gain back some of your independence and health! The Eagle™ Board Kit from MTG includes the board, a penile sizing guide, additional foam pads, an Allen wrench, and a carry bag for your convenience.

For more information about how to cath, 180 Medical's catheter specialists are ready to help you find the right catheter for your needs and can walk you through the catheterization process, step by step. They also provide handy cathing instructions online for men, women, and children, and they can put an instructional DVD and full-color booklet in your order as well.

All pictures of the MTG Eagle™ Board have been provided courtesy of MTG. You can find more information about this product at their website.

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About the Author:

mason ellis 180 medical blog authorMason Ellis was injured in a car accident on January 19, 2015, which left him with a traumatic brain injury, several broken bones included his jaws, the top six front teeth, and his collarbone. He is now a C5/6/7 quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down. Since his accident, he has connected with others with spinal cord injuries, family members, friends, and caregivers of someone with a spinal cord injury, therapists and doctors, and able-bodied individuals too. Every day, he refuses to let his spinal cord injury defeat him. His motto is to "live life just like I would've able-bodied." 

You can learn more about Mason in his 180 Medical blog feature, or connect with him and others living with spinal cord injuries on his Facebook page or by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Discovering New Possibilities at Tricia Downing's Camp Discovery

by Jessica September 7 2017 06:42
camp discovery for women with disabilities and spinal cord injuries

Tricia Downing has always been a competitive, physically active person from as early as she can remember. As a child, she enjoyed swimming, gymnastics, and running, among other activities, but her true love was bicycling and competitively racing.

She could never have imagined that a day spent doing her favorite thing in the world would end with her in the hospital, unable to feel her legs, after she was hit by a car. In one fateful moment, her life was changed forever.

Life after her accident might have been much different if she'd chosen to let it keep her down. It would've been easy to give up, but she had an undying passion to stay active and overcome her challenges.

tricia downing spinal cord injury

After the Spinal Cord Injury

After she'd been knocked from her bicycle over the hood of the car, the minutes until the emergency services arrived felt excruciatingly long, but soon, she was escorted quickly to St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. Over three weeks were spent there in intensive care, as they tried to determine the full extent of her injuries. After that, she was transferred to Craig Hospital for the rehabilitation process, where she had to re-learn how to accomplish basic daily tasks like transferring from her wheelchair to her bed, getting in and out of the shower on her own, and more.

tricia downing paraplegic hand cyclingThe physical and occupational therapy she received was the foundation for her new life, but her time spent in recreational therapy, also known as rec therapy, became her favorite thing to do while she was still in the rehabilitation hospital. Her rec therapist let her know that she was going to help Tricia get back to doing the things she loved and introduce her to new activities too. Tricia was introduced to hand-cycling, and after one ride, she was hooked. 

New Wheels Rolling

One of the first things Tricia decided to do after being released from rehab was to get involved in wheelchair sports. She knew it would be a challenge, but she wanted to face it all head-on and not let her injury hold her back from doing things she loved.

"I think one of the things about having an accident such as this, having a change of life, is that it really makes you look inside and see who you are. When I got out of Craig Hospital, I knew that I could do more with myself. I basically got a second chance, so I knew I had to do something great."

trish downing paraplegic athlete paralympics headshotSince her accident, she has completed over 100 races, including marathons, and she was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon. She also qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010 and competed on the U.S. Rowing team in the World Championship in 2011.

Eventually, she was drawn to the competitive sport of shooting in 2014, and she finished 17th in a 2015 World Cup event. She also competed on the U.S. Team in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

Still, there were more goals for Tricia while she continued leading a physically active lifestyle and competing in sports. She wanted to give back to others who had been injured or had disabilities. She wanted to be equipped to help them find a way to enjoy fitness and physical activity, just like her. So, with that goal in mind, she became a professional speaker and also decided to go back to school, where she completed Master's Degrees in both Disability Studies and Sports Management.

This became the foundation for her next big goal.

Opening New Doors With Camp Discovery

camp discovery yoga for women with spinal cord injuriesIn 2009, nine years after her accident, Tricia founded a camp in Colorado specifically for women 21-years-old and up who are in wheelchairs for conditions like spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and other conditions. Aptly named Camp Discovery, this camp helps these women to redefine their lives and forget the old limits. The three-day camp teaches female wheelchair-users all about physical fitness but also allows them to have time to create new friendships with others with similar experiences and obstacles. Combining holistic and physical wellness practices, the camp activities help women to find a place of confidence, security, and self-acceptance. 

Over the years, the camp has grown, and women from all over the country attend each year at the beautiful Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, Colorado. In addition to being able to commune with one another and forge new friendships, the female camp-goers are offered the opportunities to participate in such sports and activities as:

  • Wheelchair tennis
  • SCUBA diving
  • Horseback riding
  • Art therapy
  • Nutrition classes
  • Massage
  • Yoga and pilates
  • Swimming
  • Sled hockey
  • Kayaking 
  • and more!

trish downing at camp discovery

Tricia wanted to be able to show women in wheelchairs that there is still fun to be had in life, no matter their condition, and to let them know that they're not alone. Today, her goal continues to be helping others overcome their fears and limiting beliefs to unlock new possibilities for themselves.

You can find out more information about Camp Discovery at:

Today, Tricia continues to be involved at Camp Discovery each year, and she also does professional speaking engagements to talk about her life path and motivate others to believe in themselves, no matter their disability or condition.

Learn more about Tricia and her amazing story at:  

tricia downing motivational speaker sci quote

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Beating Spinal Cord Injury One Day at a Time: Mason Ellis's Story

by Jessica August 16 2017 06:09
mason ellis beating spinal cord injury quadriplegia

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. In fact, more than 35% of new spinal cord injuries each year are from car or motorcycle accidents. In 2015, just after the second semester of his senior year of high school began, Mason Ellis was involved in an car accident that left him a quadriplegic. From the beginning, he refused to allow his injury to beat him. Instead, he has made it his focus to defeat his injury one day at a time.

mason ellis quadriplegic

The Accident & the Aftermath

Mason couldn't have ever imagined that a fun night out with a friend driving along country roads in his home state of Indiana would lead to life in a wheelchair. After an unexpected four-way stop that dipped into a decline on a loose gravel, his car went out of control and hit an embankment, ejecting Mason nearly a hundred feet away. The car was totaled, but Mason was still alive, against all odds.
mason ellis SCI car accident
He was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors and nurses weren't sure he'd make it due to the extent of his injuries. In the crash, Mason's left shin, left femur, left collarbone, top and bottom jaw, the palate in his mouth, and some of his teeth were broken. On top of that, he cracked his skull and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh cervical vertebrae in his neck were injured. He was now quadriplegic (C5, C6, C7).

Mason recovered in the hospital for 30 days before being transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana to start physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy (due to his brain injury). The rest of his time was devoted to learning how to gain independence back with skills like eating and brushing his teeth on his own. 

Although he looked forward to returning to his old routine after he was released from rehab, when he got home, he realized that life as a quadriplegic was going to be far more of a challenge than anticipated. Mason says, "I was clueless when I came home, and I didn't know anybody else who had my level of injury." After a few visits from a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, Mason was left on his own to learn how to maneuver in the world again as a newly paralyzed young man. 

On top of navigating life in a wheelchair, he also had to become responsible for his own catheterization routine. Mason was introduced to 180 Medical through his rehabilitation hospital, and once he discovered an intermittent catheter that worked well for his limited hand dexterity, he began to feel more confident about self-cathing.

mtg ez gripper closed system catheter mason ellis

Mason says, "I have to say the MTG EZ-Gripper really helps in preventing UTIs for me. It's a closed system, so you don't have to touch the tubing, and it has an introducer tip to bypass bacteria in the urethra." At 180 Medical, we have one of the largest selections of intermittent catheters, since no type or brand will be the right fit for everyone. We're always glad to take time to listen to our customers so we can help them find the right catheters for their individual needs and preferences.

Making a Positive Impact

Sharing Knowledge Through Videos 
As time went on, Mason says, "I hadn't really figured out how to do many things post-injury." Left with few options for information on how to complete tasks as a quadriplegic, such as daily strength exercises and getting dressed independently, he began scouring the internet for helpful resources. Unfortunately, his search came up short. The few videos he found weren't quite what he was looking for, and he figured that others like him might also be searching for the same information. He wanted to share his experience and how he has learned to do daily tasks that quadriplegics might want to know more about. That's when he decided he would take matters into his own hands; he would use his prior experience of making YouTube videos prior to his injury to create new video content and upload it to share on a YouTube channel

Soon, he started to hear from other people with spinal cord injuries who wanted to let him know how helpful his videos were. Family, friends, and loved ones of those living with spinal cord injuries also gave him positive feedback. To his surprise, he even heard from doctors, caregivers, therapists, and students learning about quadriplegia in medical school. 

Every day, more and more people discover the multitude of helpful videos Mason has personally worked so hard to create. He has hundreds of ideas left to offer, and he's excited to continue on this path and further develop his channel to connect and talk with others.

Some of Mason's most popular videos include:

Peer Mentoring Others with Spinal Cord Injuries
mason ellis peer mentor"People say I came a long way based on everything I broke. I haven't had many complications, and I feel really thankful for that," Mason says. Quadriplegics often face complications such as pressure sores and UTIs (urinary tract infections), and knowing this, Mason wanted to do what he could to help them.

He is now a certified Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation peer mentor, and he visits his old rehab to talk with recently injured patients before they are discharged to go back home.

During these mentoring sessions, Mason likes to share some of what he's learned, such as:
  • maintaining and gaining strength
  • proper hygiene
  • products that have helped him
  • staying mindful of the importance of doing pressure reliefs to minimize the risk of pressure sores

"I'm passionate about peer mentoring, because [my injury] really affected my life. I like to try and help out the community."

Staying Active & Meeting New People
Mason is more physically active now than he was before his injury. "I feel like I took being able-bodied for granted," he says, "So I never tried. Now, this is like proving to myself that I can do it and proving to others they're wrong if they say I can't do it." Some of the things he loves to do is hunt, fish, and ride in his adaptive UTV to visit friends and roam around the town where he lives.

mason ellis at camp possabilityOne place he loves to visit in the summer is a local camp in Indiana for disabled adults, ages 18-35, who have conditions like spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injuries. At Camp PossAbility, young adults get the opportunity to meet and befriend others like them and participate in fun outdoor adventures like adaptive horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Mason learned about the camp when someone reached out to him about it through his YouTube channel.

He was also able to connect with the creator of Able Outdoors Magazine, and now Mason is a contributing columnist for the magazine. He writes about some of his experiences with hunting and other fun adaptive outdoor activities.

When he mentors others, he likes to talk about some of these hobbies in order to let them know that life isn't over for them, and they can still do all the things they loved doing before in new, adaptive ways.

Looking Forward to Whatever Comes Next

mason ellis standing Outside of his growing YouTube channel, Mason keeps busy with college courses in Information Technology, and he hopes to have his car adapted so he can start driving again. He just wants keep moving forward.

Mason says, "I think it feels good to beat your injuries. It took me a while to figure everything out, but I like to say that I beat my injury when I learn certain tasks. I don't want the injury beating me."

Mason has already positively affected hundreds of lives with his videos, Able Outdoors columns, connecting with others at camp, and taking time to talk to people who need help adapting to their new life in a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury. We're sure he's going to go on to do many more great things and continue impacting others in significant ways. 

mason ellis sci quote

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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Making Dreams Come True After Spinal Cord Injury: Jen Goodwin's Continuing Story

by Jessica July 6 2017 06:11

Jen Goodwin's whole world drastically changed in single moment after a fun day boating on the lake went terribly wrong, and she sustained a serious spinal cord injury at the C5 and C6 level. After her surgery and over two years of rehab, she returned back home and began to adjust to daily life as a quadriplegic. Daily tasks that were once done without a second thought, like brushing teeth and going to the bathroom, became new skills to re-master. With a lot of practice and time, Jen kept moving forward and became acquainted to daily life in a wheelchair.

Being a very goal-oriented person who thrives on a challenge, Jen decided she was ready to tackle something new. Life was going well as Jen settled into her new routine, but she was ready to start thinking about what could be next for her. Since she had demonstrated an interest in law before, her mom suggested that she ought to try taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It was a surprise and a joy to find out that she performed even better than expected, and she ended up getting a full scholarship to Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas.

Back to School

jen goodwin law school graduate quadriplegic Returning to school as an adult in a wheelchair was a whole new challenge to face. She wouldn't know anyone in her new classes at all, and there were other questions on her mind now too. How would she take notes and tests when she wasn't able to write? Would the school buildings be accessible for her? Of course, these were perfectly normal concerns to have.

"I think a lot of people are afraid to go back to school after [spinal cord] injuries," Jen says, "But talk to your local Vocational Rehabilitation Services, because they have a lot of resources and information to help get people back to school. And talk to your school's Disability Resource Center. They really want to help! Even if your injury prevents you from taking notes and typing, there are still ways to be successful in school."

Jen arranged some meetings with her school's Disability Resource Center, and she was relieved to find the staff ready and willing to discuss options with her. Together, they worked out what accommodations and adjustments would need to be made in order to ensure that she would have the same opportunities for success as every other able-bodied student at the law school, such as keypads to open doors, accessible bathrooms near her classes, digital copies of textbooks, and setting her up with classmates who could take lecture notes for her.

Another Dream Come True

jen goodwin spinal cord injury family Jen worked as diligently as possible at all her courses while still making time to get to know the other law students in her classes. After a year of school, she decided it was time to focus on one of the greatest wishes of her heart: to become a mother.

At the time, there were a few people who had some opinions on her life and even doubted that Jen could handle all of these responsibilities along with having a child of her own, but she didn't let that hold her back. Talking to Jen and hearing her story in her own words would certainly make you realize that her tenacity and optimism keeps her moving forward, and there's no obstacle she's not willing to work hard to overcome. 

With the support of her doctor and her family, she picked an anonymous donor and became pregnant at just the right time during winter break, so she could spend much of the time during her first trimester out of classes. The time off was spent practicing and working with a weighted doll to find the best techniques for lifting car seats, changing her baby's clothes, and more, all while an accessible nursery for her baby boy was added on to her home. Spring semester classes went on without a hitch, and then just after school let out in the summer, little Beckham made his early arrival in June.

Today, he has a mother who loves him more than anything in the world and a wonderful support system of close family and friends, especially Jen's parents and sister.

Jen's lifelong dream of being a mom had finally come true.

Looking to the Future

So what's next for Jen now that she's graduated from law school as of May of this year? Right now, Jen is prepping for the bar exam, and after that, she starts a two-year internship working with the legal department of the local children's hospital, which seems like the perfect fit for a woman with such a big heart for children. Plus she can bring her own experiences with the legal system and living with a disability.

"I am a firm believer that the right doors open when they're supposed to," says Jen, "So we'll see what happens after that!"

We're so excited to see all the ways that Jen will go forward to achieve more dreams as well as positively impact others' lives during her journey. There were certainly obstacles along the way, but she came out on the other side with a smile, a law degree, and a son of her own. Limitations and setbacks may happen in life, but Jen is living proof that with optimism and tenacity, nothing can hold you back.

jen goodwin quote 2

Read Part 1 of our two-part series on Jen's life, her accident, and her time in rehab.

part 1 jen goodwin story

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Determined Spirit: Jen Goodwin's Story of Life After Her Spinal Cord Injury

by Jessica June 30 2017 06:13

Nearly a decade ago, Jen Goodwin was on top of the world. She'd graduated from the University of Arkansas, bought her first house, and adopted her first dog. Then she got her dream job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which came naturally to her with her friendly personality, big smile, and a real talent for sales. It seemed like life couldn't be better. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye. 

The Day Everything Changed

A fun day of boating and swimming at the lake with her neighbors in the summer of 2008 turned into a nightmare after dark. She and another neighbor were out in his boat when he fell backwards onto her head and then used her neck almost like a springboard to push himself back up to stand again. Immediately, she saw a flash of bright white and had a warm pleasant feeling that gave way to searing pain, and then she realized she couldn't feel her legs. It was clear something was very, very wrong.

jen goodwin picAt first, her neighbor didn't believe that she had been hurt, even claiming that she was faking her injury. In cases like this, when someone says they're hurt or have possibly sustained a spinal cord injury, it's important to keep them still and get help from emergency services as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this didn't happen for Jen. Due to her injury, she couldn't sit up or hold on to anything to maintain balance during that terrifying trip over choppy waters back to the boat ramp. It took a lot of pleading for her neighbor to relent and, after loading her into the floorboard of his truck, he eventually drove her forty-five minutes away to the local hospital.

As soon as they arrived, paramedics sprang into action to help Jen. It was obvious that she was seriously hurt, but the true extent of the damage wasn't fully known until they ran some tests. Despite her pain and fear, Jen tried to maintain a positive attitude, but when the doctor sat down with her to tell her that her neck had been broken and her spine was severely compressed at the C5 and C6 level, leaving her quadriplegic and unlikely to ever walk again, she finally let herself cry. She knew then for sure that this wasn't a simple injury that could be quickly fixed. Life had changed forever.

Life During Rehab

Naturally, Jen was heartbroken at all that had happened to her, but she didn't let herself stay down for long. She was ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead. Her surgery was scheduled on a Sunday, and she transferred to the rehabilitation center on Thursday, one of the fastest post-surgery patients that the staff at the hospital had seen.

jen goodwin quote 2Her first goal was just to raise her hand high enough to scratch her nose. Initially, she had no lower extremity movement and no control of her triceps, because of the level of her injury, but she kept that tenacious drive and continued working hard to meet challenges head on and eventually was able to achieve that first goal she had set for herself. "I just looked at it like, 'This is my chance, so I'm going to give it absolutely everything I've got every single day,' and because of that, I was able to get a lot stronger," says Jen. 

Although she was determined to push through therapy and work hard, it felt like a lot of the techniques and skills they were teaching her in rehab wouldn't be possible for her to master at first. After a lot of practice and determination to gain back some strength, she received validation that hard work and dedication to her goals made things possible when others might have thought it wasn't possible.

Altogether, she spent nearly two years total in rehabilitation therapy, including a controlled intensive therapy study at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta Georgia. She worked as hard as possible to reach her goals, and during that time, she also met some of her best friends. They affectionately dubbed themselves, "The Quad Squad," and they still meet up regularly for vacations and get-togethers.

Her ultimate goal was to learn to walk again, and finally, she was able to walk down and back again on the length of a basketball court. It took an hour and was achieved with the help of two therapists, a spinal electronic nerve stimulator (or e-stim), and a walker. This was a turning point for Jen in figuring out her next goals.

"I decided I could either learn to walk, or I could learn to live," she says of her decision to move on after focusing entirely on rehab for over two years. It was only because she gave her all and worked as hard as she could for so long that she felt able to let go of the old goals and focus on new ones.

Moving Forward

There were all kinds of new challenges to face during that early period of life after her injury. Once rehab was over, Jen had to put the skills she had learned into action and worked to develop new strategies for accomplishing basic, daily activities around the house, and even in getting around in the world, such as learning to drive again with the help of a modified car. She devoted nearly a year to designing and planning an accessible home to have built next to her parents' house, and another year was spent learning how to live in it on her own. 

One additional aspect Jen had to consider was learning how to self-cath. It can help to have a catheter supply provider with trained product specialists on staff who are willing to take time to listen to concerns and questions. She found 180 Medical through a spinal cord injury event and has been with us ever since. "I absolutely love 180 Medical. You guys sci connection facebook linkhave always been great about getting the supplies I need and letting me know about any new products that come out. I can always rely on you to get my supplies to me when I need them," says Jen.

Depending on the level of injury, some may not be able to manipulate a catheter on their own. Jen tried out a few different catheter options while using a gripping catheter clamp to better hold them, but when she tried out a newer option the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Set, she knew she'd found the perfect fit for her needs. "It's so nice that they fit right in my purse. They're super discreet and ready to go, and I can actually grip them with my hands." Since Jen loves to travel, it's super handy to have an option for catheters that are lighter and take up way less space in her luggage too. 

It wasn't always easy. From the frightening night of her injury through years of hard work and dedication to physical and rehabilitation therapy, the journey to where she is now was long and challenging. Jen understands that things can seem bleak to those who have been recently injured, but after going through all she has, she encourages others to not lose sight of goals or give up. 

Thinking about what might come next was never far away from Jen's mind as she settled into daily life. There were a few big dreams that she had always wanted to accomplish that kept coming up in her mind, and she decided she wasn't going to let her spinal cord injury get in the way of achieving those dreams.

Check out this awesome video from Permobil Corporation to meet Jen in person as she talks a bit about her goals and her experiences with her wheelchair.

Find out all about the next chapter of Jen's life and the new goals she set for herself in Part 2 of our two-part series. 

jen goodwin part 2

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

The Importance of Seeing a Urologist

by billf March 22 2017 07:12
the importance of seeing a urologist

 My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. bill f 180 medicalAbout 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to use my experiences to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time talking to our customers on the phone who are new to self-catheterizing.

There are a lot of people who use intermittent catheters and mainly rely on their general practitioner for their checkups and healthcare needs. While this is perfectly fine, it may be a good idea to see a urologist annually for a more thorough checkup. Since urologists specialize in conditions relating to the entire urinary system as well as the male reproductive organs, they may be able to better pinpoint issues that your general practitioner might not catch.

What to Expect at an Annual Exam with a Urologist

Seeing a urologist may seem intimidating at first, but generally, an annual exam is fairly simple and could be potentially life-saving, depending on what symptoms you may be experiencing. There are various procedures that your urologist may use to check for any abnormalities or potential issues, including growths, infections, or stones.

Some tests or examinations that you may be able to expect, depending upon what the doctor thinks is necessary for your individual situation, may include:

  • A physical exam
  • A urine specimen
  • A cystoscopy (where the lower urinary tract is examined with a mini camera) 
  • Imaging studies (ultrasound or x-ray, most typically) 
  • Urodynamics
  • A tissue biopsy

Bladder Cancer and Other Factors to Consider

An annual exam is a wise idea for anyone using catheter supplies, but it's also important to see your doctor if there are any unusual or out-of-the-ordinary symptoms as soon as possible. Waiting on treating something as small as urinary tract infection may lead to the condition becoming a more serious issue.

Bladder irritation may increase the risk of bladder cancer, and this can be from various issues such as repeated UTIs (urinary tract infections) or bladder infections, use of a foley catheter, and bladder stones. There are higher rates of bladder cancer among tobacco users, so if you smoke or vape, this is also a great reason to get a regular check-up.

Additionally, if you are living with a neurogenic bladder or a SCI (spinal cord injury), you may want to consider the importance of checking for bladder cancer regularly too. The risk for this disease for those with SCIs is about "15 times higher than that of the general population" (New Mobility).

Since bladder cancer does not always have obvious symptoms, especially in the beginning stages, it's incredibly important to have a specialist like a urologist look over your bladder and urinary system in its entirety regularly so that any potential issues can be caught early.

Year-Round Maintenance of Your Urinary System's Health

As always, the best thing you can do for your bladder, kidneys, and the rest of your urinary system is to follow your healthcare professional's recommendations.

This may include such advice as:

  • Take any medications you have been prescribed as directed
  • Keep properly hydrated according to your individual needs
  • Continue regular check-ups with your urologist, especially in the case of any unusual or out-of-the-ordinary symptoms
  • Always use good hygiene when using intermittent catheters, such as practicing sterile use versus washing and reusing, washing your hands well, and using disinfecting wipes or swabs
  • Catheterize according to the schedule laid out by your doctor, which is typically going to be often enough to keep the urine volume inside your bladder under 10 ounces
  • Use adequate sterile, water-soluble lubrication when cathing to avoid make catheterization more comfortable
  • Consider using a hydrophilic catheter to further reduce irritation to the urethra and bladder, or a catheter with a gripper or sleeve to avoid touching the catheter directly, which can reduce the risk of infection

At 180 Medical, we not only provide top-quality intermittent catheter supplies; we also offer helpful, educational material whenever possible to make sure you have all the information you need, including instructions on how to self-cath. For more information about catheters that could be right for your needs, feel free to contact us. If you have any questions or seek medical advice, please be sure to consult with your healthcare professional. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of bladder health and the importance of seeing a doctor. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, or consultation with a physician or other professional healthcare provider.

'Surprising Link': Smoking and Bladder Cancer
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 8 Tips for Adapting After
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bill bio pic 180 medical employee
Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Marina

by Jessica December 22 2016 12:38
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencerMaria, and Nicole. Today, meet the last of our 2016 recipients, Marina!

marina 180 medical college scholarship recipient 2016

Marina is no stranger to a challenge. She was born with a host of medical issues, including a neurogenic bladder and a chronic illness, and when she wasn't at the hospital or at home dealing with the setbacks of her condition, she also had to deal with some discrimination in school. But through it all, she has maintained a level of positive thinking and inner strength that is truly inspiring. She states, "I decided at a very early age that I would not let this setback define who I was, but rather who I will become."

In addition to working hard to keep a high GPA and maintaining her status on the Honor Roll, she also participates in extreme snowboarding, kickboxing, running, and volunteering however she can in her community. She is also always open to helping out a peer or another adolescent with advice and support before and after their surgeries. 

marina 180 medical 2016 college scholarship recipient snowboarding

Thanks to her experience, both of living with her conditions and in helping others, she feels she has discovered her core characteristics and her true ambitions -- to become a nurse. "In addition to a solid education, experience goes a long way towards creating our best and most compassionate nurses," Marina says, and we're sure that her experiences will lead her to be a truly great nurse! 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 


8 Tips for Adapting After a Spinal Cord Injury

by billf September 27 2016 18:24
tips for adapting after an SCI

My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. bill f 180 medicalAbout 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to use my experiences to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time just talking to our customers on the phone who are new to self-catheterizing.

As you may already know, September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, so, as a C5-6 quadriplegic, I'd like to share a few helpful tips for anyone living with an SCI, particularly those new to their injury and recently released from their rehabilitation center.

1. Plan a daily routine. 
While in rehabilitation therapy, my fellow patients and I were woken up every day at 6:00 a.m. and kept to a pretty orderly schedule from morning to night. If your rehab was anything like mine, they probably had you on a daily schedule like this. I recommend trying to stick to something similar, or perhaps you can come up with a daily routine of your own that will work better for your individual needs.

Having a routine re-establishes a sense of dependable structure after such an injury that does alter your life in many ways. When we create positive habits, whether we live with a SCI or not, this practice has a way of enhancing your life. Especially in early recovery after you're released, having too much extra time without a schedule or tasks to do can lead to depression. Find something you love to do or participate in, create a routine, and eventually, it will become a habit.

Important note: Be sure to continue your self-cathing and bowel program as your doctor or healthcare professional has prescribed. 

2. Exercise and eat well.
Exercise will help you maintain or even lose weight, if necessary. I know it's not uncommon for those with spinal cord injuries to gain weight once they are in a wheelchair, mainly due to inactivity. But it's important to try your best to stay in shape, and not just because it's always a great idea to maintain optimal health, no matter your level of injury. Exercise may also help you regain your independence, and you might find that it becomes a lot easier to transfer from your wheelchair to your car, a toilet, or to your bed, and continue your other daily activities.  

While in rehabilitation therapy, you may have been taught a daily exercise routine with weights, resistance bands, and wheelchair pushes, as I was. When you return home after your release, you might not have access to all the necessary equipment at home. It might be worth checking with your rehabilitation center to see if they offer continuing outpatient-based visits, so you can continue to use their equipment or get assistance with workouts. You might also check with your local gym or fitness center, as they might also have adaptive equipment.

For exercising at home, you may find, as I have, that resistance bands are a great help, because they're not only very effective but inexpensive as well. You can also purchase hand weights or even wrist band weights if you have limited hand dexterity like me.

Continuing to work on pushing your own wheelchair (if you are physically able), is also of great importance. I recall when I first returned home, I would spend an hour during the day pushing my chair as long and hard as I could. At first, I could barely push up a ramp, but with continued effort, I was able to push on my own for a few miles, which was a huge success! I also made sure to keep going to my local rehab center at least three times a week to lift weights and resistance train.

Maintaining a healthy diet is also important to your health. Your rehabilitation therapist or healthcare professional may be able to counsel you on the best foods for your health or refer you to a certified nutritionist to formulate a specialized diet for you.

3. Consider going back to school or work.
If you already had a job before your injury and are planning on returning to work after rehab, your employer should assist you in making any necessary accommodations, so you can continue to work for them. If you are interested in trying to go back to work or plan on working in the future, get in contact with your local Department of Rehabilitation Services, who can assist you in helping find a job, as well as designing a plan and providing you with the necessary accommodations you might require in order to work. They can also assist you in making a plan for any continuing education. Fortunately, they also often offer resources that may help pay for all or part of your education costs. 

There are also scholarships available to those with disabilities, such as 180 Medical's annually offered College Scholarship Program. You can learn more about that at our scholarship page.

Most schools and universities have a department specifically to assist those of us with disabilities. They help make sure that your classes are accessible for you, and if you have any other special needs, they can work to make the necessary accommodations for you. Examples of this could range from getting someone to assist you in taking notes to getting a classroom location changed, if the original classroom is not physically accessible. 

I knew a young man who had done construction work all of his life, and, after breaking his back, he realized that he would no longer be able to do that type of work anymore. Even though he had limited education originally, he decided to go back to school went back to school, ended up becoming an attorney, and has been very successful.

No matter what you were doing before you had your spinal cord injury, the sky is the limit on what you can do in the future. While it took me a while before I was able to get my first job, I was so grateful to finally have a daily purpose with going to work, because I was starting to get depressed by not doing anything. No matter what your level of injury is, see what job options might be available to you if that is of interest.

4. Join a local support group.
I can't say enough good things about support groups. These meetings can be so beneficial. Not only does it allow you to share ideas with people who are going or have gone through the same things, but some of my best friends today are people I met through my local support group.

Most states, cities, or larger towns have spinal cord injury support group meetings or an association of some sort. For example, i'm originally from a small town of approximately 15,000 people, and even there, we had a group that met every month. There were not that many of us, but it was nice to meet people in my area with similar disabilities and understood some of the issues I was also encountering. If you live in a rural area, you might have to travel to get to the nearest meeting. The Spinal Cord Association in Oklahoma City offers their meetings by Skype, so that people who are unable to make it to the meeting can still participate. If there is not already a support group in your area yet, you might consider starting one.

5. Use the Internet.
There is a wealth of information available to you on the internet, from educational information, community activities, local support groups, helpful webinars, adaptive equipment and clothing, charitable associations, and more. If you have found this article, then you already know what I mean. I have written several blogs for 180 Medical discussing all types of issues which you may also find helpful, all the way from achieving independence as a quadriplegic, traveling, adaptive clothing for people in wheelchairs, and even my experience with adaptive sports like kayaking.  

Some great resources to start:
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
National Spinal Cord Injury Association (United Spinal)
Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation
Progressive Independence
DREAM (Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring)
Triumph Foundation
Facing Disability

6. Start driving again.
For me, personally, getting behind the wheel again was the biggest step in feeling as if I had gained my independence back. While I know that some people have too great a level of injury to be able to drive themselves, many others are still able to do so.

Most paraplegics are able to transfer into a car or truck, break their wheelchair down, and load it into their vehicle, so the only modifications they may require are hand controls and possibly a steering wheel knob. These modifications are usually under a few thousand dollars. As a quadriplegic, I require a van with a lift, automatic door openers, a 6-way seat base, hand controls, and a tri-pin on my steering wheel. These adaptive modifications to one's vehicle can end up being very costly, however. There are more types of modifications available.

If your ultimate goal is to get back to work, then the Department of Rehabilitation Services might help pay for the disability modifications, but you are responsible for paying for the vehicle. If you currently have a vehicle, check to see if it can be modified. If you are purchasing a new vehicle to have modified, most manufacturers offer up to $1000 to assist in paying for your adaptive equipment. 

7. Participate in Adaptive Sports and Recreation.

bill adaptive kayaking 180 medicalWhether you want to professionally compete in sports or just enjoy doing something for fun, there are so many options available to you, both indoors and outdoors. I personally enjoy swimming, kayaking, riding my hand-crank bike, water-skiing, and I even went snow-skiing once but haven’t had the opportunity to go back yet. Check your local resources and give the internet a quick search to see what is available. 

A few helpful organizations and informational websites:
Life Rolls On (Surf and Skating events)
National Wheelchair Basketball Association
VA Adaptive Sports (US Department of Veterans Affairs)
Disabled Sports USA (this includes local chapters and youth programs as well)
Blaze Sports America
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation information on Team Sports
Paralyzed Veterans of America Sports
Oklahoma Adaptive Sports Association (OKASA)
U.S. Paralympics
Adaptive Sports USA
Adaptive Adventures

8. Never give up.
Above all, don't lose hope! Life is not over for you, even if it has been drastically changed by your injury. There is help and assistance available, and many opportunities exist out there.

As someone who has been where you are right now as a newly injured person living with a spinal cord injury, I wish you all the best on your new journey and hope you will be able to reach out for any support you may need at this crucial time in your life.

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:
spinal cord injury awareness month 2016

bill bio pic 180 medical employee
Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Jared

by Jessica September 20 2016 20:58
Earlier this summer, we were proud to be able to announce the names of each of our 2016 College Scholarship recipients. This year, there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

Throughout the following months, we will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured Macy. This week, we are happy to feature Jared Grier, the second of our seven scholarship winners.

jared 180 medical college scholarship winner 2016
When Jared was just 19, he anticipated there might be many transitions in the course of life ahead, but one day brought a life-alteringjared and his frat brothers 180 medical college scholarship winner change he could have never expected after finishing up his first year of college. During a fun outing with friends at a local park, he climbed a tree, just as he had many times before, but when he tried to get down, he fell and landed on his neck, fracturing his C6 vertebrae and rendering him quadriplegic. Since that time, he has gone through some very difficult challenges such as multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, and continuing therapy. Once he was home, he says he "made it [his] goal to return to campus as fast as possible." 

His fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has been a huge part of his life since entering college, and his brothers joined together with him to create a fundraising campaign, called the Grierstrong Movement, which was originally made to garner support for Jared by the organizations on his college campus. Now, Grierstrong continues to grow with aims to bring awareness to the community about spinal cord injuries and the impact they can have on people's lives.

As of the beginning of the fall semester, Jared is continuing forward with his education, unwilling to give up on his goals at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.

We are truly impressed by Jared's commitment to continue forward and turn a potentially devastating injury into a direction that helps positively impact others' lives. You can learn more about the Grierstrong Movement at

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:
spinal cord injury awareness month 2016

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 


2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Macy

by Jessica September 8 2016 08:04
Earlier this summer, we were proud to be able to announce the names of each of our 2016 College Scholarship recipients. This year, there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

Throughout the following months, we will be featuring each recipient on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. This week, we are happy to feature Macy Huff, the first of our seven scholarship winners.

macy 180 medical college scholarship winner quote

Macy's life changed unexpectedly and dramatically when she sustained a spinal cord injury when she was only 15 years old during a tumbling/cheer-leading accident, which left her paralyzed without the use of her arms and legs. There were many new challenges that she has faced and overcome as a C5-6 quadriplegic, and she feels that it changed her life in more ways than that. During her time in rehab at Riley Children's Hospital, she encountered some very helpful and encouraging Child Life Therapists that had a big impact on her life.

macy cheerleading senior pic"They taught me how to advocate for myself, make physical adaptations, and approach learning in a different way," Macy says. "I hope to one day pay it forward and assist others who find themselves in a similar situation as I found myself in April of 2013."

As of the beginning of the fall semester, Macy has started on her undergraduate studies at Franklin College with a major in Education, which she hopes to use to either become a Child Life Therapist or a Special Education Teacher, so that she can positively impact others' lives too, just as the therapists, teachers, and assistants who she has met since her accident have impacted her life. And not only will she be carrying a full-time college class load, she is also elated to have been invited to cheer with the Franklin College cheer squad. 

Outside of school, Macy has devoted her time to volunteering at her local food pantry, coaching cheer, participating in Student Council, Key Club, and Best Buddies (a peer mentoring program for students with disabilities). 

Macy's commitment to never give up, despite the odds, is truly inspiring, and we're sure she will find success in her future endeavors. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:

sci awareness month footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.

A Look at National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

by Jessica September 1 2016 08:47
sci awareness month blog header
Did you know that September is National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month? Originally cosponsored by Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, the bill for this awareness month was created to recognize the prevalence of spinal cord injuries in the country as well as highlight the achievements of those who living such an injury are accomplishing.

According to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a person becomes paralyzed every 48 seconds in the United States. Here are several other statistics of note about spinal cord injuries, presented by the United Spinal Association:

  • There are approximately 12,500 new spinal cord injuries each year. 
  • The number of people in the United States in 2014 who have a spinal cord injury has been estimated to be approximately 276,000 (with a range from 240,000 to as many as 337,000 individuals).
  • The average age at injury has increased from 29 years of age during the 1970s to 42 years since 2010.
  • Approximately 79% of spinal cord injuries occur among males.
  • Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury, followed by falls, acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and sports-related accidents.

Overcoming Adversity of a Spinal Cord Injury

man in wheelchair sci monthThe effects of a spinal cord injury can be life-altering, but it is important to know that individuals can often overcome the challenges of their condition and go on to live a normal life and achieve great things. 

180 Medical's founder, Todd Brown, is one of those people. Todd was involved in a motocross accident in 1994 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Since that time, he has had to deal with the daily challenges that anyone with a SCI might encounter. He started 180 Medical because of his own experiences, including suffering from urinary tract infections from having to reuse his intermittent catheters. 

After learning about closed system catheter kits from some of his friends in the adaptive cycle racing community, he saw great improvements in his health and his day-to-day life. With the right catheters for his needs, he was better able to manage his condition and felt his life had been turned around. Todd wanted to help others in his situation, and as a result, he started his company. Today, 180 Medical is a leading supplier of urinary catheter supplies.

What Can You Do to Help?

Chances are that many of us know someone who has suffered from a spinal cord injury. The goal of SCI Awareness Month is to educate the general public on its prevalence, ways we can prevent these events from occurring, and how to best provide treatment and support for those living with a spinal cord injury.

There are a number of ways you can help the cause and spread awareness:
  1.  Make a donation to a spinal cord injury foundation or charity, such as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. This will help with funding for research for a cure as well as advocate for others in need.
  2.  If you know someone with a spinal cord injury, take some time to acknowledge what they're going through and congratulate them on overcoming their challenges. 
  3.  Consider joining the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's United Spinal Team Advocacy group to help work for change, stay in the loop on upcoming events, and find information on local support groups. 
  4.  Share helpful facts and information about SCI on your social media accounts throughout September. 

180 medical founder todd brown story footer

180 Medical Founder Todd Brown Named a Most Admired CEO

by Jessica December 23 2014 11:43
We're proud to announce that our founder and CEO, Todd Brown, has been named one of Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs by The Journal Record. This prestigious award honors business leaders who demonstrate great leadership and dedication to their companies and communities. 

todd brown most admired ceo journal record 180 medical

"Everyone here at 180 Medical is so excited for Todd. It's great to see him recognized publicly as the wonderful leader of our company that we know him to be," says Sharon Hodnett, Human Resources Manager. "To say that I’m proud to work with Todd Brown and to consider him a friend and mentor is an understatement.  I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more than him."

Many of you may already know the inspiring story of Todd's life. Always one with an adventurous spirit and entrepreneurial mind, Todd was already trying to start up his first business, a sandwich shop, as he simultaneously worked through college and started his family. When he became paralyzed in a tragic moto-cross accident, he was determined that he would never give up. But the road to recovery was not an easy one. One of the difficulties that Todd faced in his new life as a paraplegic was dealing with frequent urinary tract infections -- an affliction that affects many people with spinal cord injuries. On top of frustrations with these infections, he was also having problems with getting the right medical supplies he needed. He found most supply companies were unfamiliar with the best product choices for his needs. One day, while attending a wheelchair race, Todd was introduced to closed system catheters by a fellow athlete and friend. Upon using this type of product for his intermittent catheterization routine, his health immediately began to improve. 

It was at this point that he knew everyone who goes through similar medical issues should have access to these products through a reliable company that could give friendly, knowledgeable service. Shortly after this, Todd and his wife started a medical supply company out of their own garage. Over the years, the company has grown to become a nationwide company with headquarters in Oklahoma City and sister companies in Phoenix and Boston.

Under Todd’s leadership, one aspect that sets 180 Medical apart and gives us a competitive edge in the marketplace today is his ultimate goal for unbeatable customer service that sets the standard. When he was newly injured and looking for companies that could provide the supplies he needed, he encountered business after business with under-educated employees who were unable to offer compassion or understanding. Todd’s experience is a huge part of what dictates the direction 180 Medical has taken. When he came up with the business model for 180 Medical, he knew that the customer base would often already be going through a difficult time as they adjust to a new condition that would require the need for medical supplies. So his ultimate goal was to staff his company with people who are passionate about helping others and could be trained to be specialists. Through Todd’s vision and planning, our company continues to go above and beyond to treat customers as though they were members of their own family.  

We are so proud of Todd and all his achievements. The sixth-annual Most Admired CEO event will be held on February 12, 2015, at the Skirvin-Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. 


About the Author: 

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Recognizes Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

by Jessica September 4 2014 16:55
September 1st marks the beginning of a full month dedicated to raising awareness about spinal cord injuries.

spinal cord injury awareness month 180 medical
It's important for us all to be aware of spinal cord injuries and the life-changing effects they can have on those living with SCI every day. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, "every 48 seconds in America, a person becomes paralyzed." This can occur from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and more.

You may already know that our founder Todd Brown was injured in a motocross accident and is paralyzed from the chest down. This accident is what eventually led him to create our company, so the cause is, of course, near and dear to our hearts here at 180 Medical. We also have employees on staff who have been affected by spinal cord injuries.

According to a recent study by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, there are approximately 1,275,000 people living with spinal cord injuries, so chances are that you or someone you may know has been directly or indirectly affected. You're not alone.

We invite you to share this post to help spread awareness of spinal cord injuries to your friends and family.

Visit the links below for more resources.

  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center -- Request a free copy of their comprehensive Paralysis Resource Guide and get access to informative videos, facts, local resources. There are options to donate, join Team Reeve, and get involved in raising awareness.
  • National Spinal Cord Injury Association -- Join NSCA's United Spinal Team Advocacy to work for change, stay in the know on upcoming events and the latest news, and access local chapters and support groups. You can also find publications, advocacy brochures, handrims for your wheelchair, and more in their online store. 
  • The Buoniconti Fund -- A non-profit organization committed to finding a cure for paralysis from spinal cord injury. Stay up to date on the latest news and events, donate, and find support and resources.
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) -- An organization dedicated specifically to United States Military service members and veterans who are paralyzed. Find news, information, and local chapters for support.
  • United Spinal Association -- This organization is dedicated to providing support and enhancing quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries. Find resources, support from peers and your community, counseling for veterans, ways to get involved and donate, and more.
  • Travis Roy Foundation -- Stay up to date on recent research, find volunteer opportunities, donate, and find other ways to get involved.
  • Apparelyzed forums -- Meet others who are dealing with various issues related to spinal cord injuries and/or paralyzation in an online forum. Connect with their Facebook page for additional peer support and networking.

180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

A Reflection on 20 Years After Todd Brown's Spinal Cord Injury

by Jessica August 20 2014 11:43
20 years after todd brown's spinal cord injury

todd brown founder of 180 medical Today marks a full 20 years that have passed since our founder Todd Brown’s accident, which ultimately led to his idea to create 180 Medical. While it’s not an anniversary we celebrate, we want to take a moment to reflect back on the past twenty years and accentuate the positive outcome after his accident.

Many of you may know by now what an inspiring life Todd has led thus far. From an early age, he was very active and participated in various sports like basketball and track. He grew up around motorcycles. His dad was involved in a sport called motocross, which is a physically-demanding, fast-paced form of motorcycle racing on mostly off-road, closed courses.

“Me and my brother started racing from a very young age,” said Todd, recalling his passion for the sport.

Then in 1994, after graduating college and marrying his wife Annette, a tragic accident during a motocross jump left Todd with a T-7,8 spinal cord injury. He was only 25 years old, and now, he was paralyzed from the waist down. 

While in the hospital, Todd called his closest friends and family to let them know what had occurred. His wife and family rushed to be by his side, and one thing people noticed was that his indomitable spirit had not been dampened.

“He basically said, ‘Well, God put this in front of me and gave me some challenges,’ and it didn’t make a difference to him,” Randy Brown, his brother, said.

Todd knew his life would never be quite the same as it was before his motocross accident that left him paralyzed, but he was determined to persevere.

“I had a business, I had a family, and I was just trying to get out of rehab,” Todd said, recalling those difficult first few months.

Part of the difficulties he faced as a new paraplegic was nearly constant UTIs (urinary tract infections) from cleaning and reusing his red rubber catheters, as he'd been instructed to do while in rehab. The infections were negatively impacting the quality of his life, and on top of that, he had to deal with medical supply companies who didn't seem to understand his condition or care, and he had to deal with frequent trips to the doctor and constant doses of antibiotics due to his UTIs.

Feeling worn down and tired of being sick, Todd knew there had to be a better way.

Despite all of that, the drive to stay active was still inside Todd, so he began doing wheelchair races, and he participated in his first wheelchair marathon just six months after his motocross accident. One day, while attending a wheelchair race, a fellow athlete friend talked to Todd about his issues with frequent UTIs and asked if he’d ever heard of sterile-use catheterization (which is the process of using a catheter one time and then disposing of it, versus reusing after cleaning it) and gave him a closed system catheter to try out.

Todd’s health began to improve, and he realized that, with continued use of the right equipment and the right techniques, his quality of life had done a 180 degree turn back in the right direction. 

It was not long after this that Todd decided he wanted to start a company that would be able to provide the right equipment, great service, and education to anyone who needed catheters and other supplies.

It was a leap of faith, and he and his wife didn’t have much starting out, but Todd was ready to make his dreams a reality, so they started their medical supply company out of their own garage. Todd just knew he could make a difference in others’ lives.

Over those 20 years since Todd’s accident, he has not only started 180 Medical, which is one of the fastest-growing, nationally-accredited providers of sterile use catheters and ostomy supplies, he has also accomplished much more.

180 medical oklahoma city headquarters

He and his wife are both strong advocates for adoption. He still takes times to visit spinal cord injury patients in rehab, and he will often mentor the newly injured. Even with his continually growing business, he finds time for his family and his passions, like fishing, hand-cycling, snow-skiing, and staying active in his church.

Todd’s story inspires everyone who hears it. He is a driven and kindhearted individual who turned a negative into a positive by working hard to start a successful business, and he achieved his goal of turning lives around through 180 Medical.

todd and 180 medical family

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Todd Brown's Story & the Unique Perspective of 180 Medical

by Jessica April 3 2014 16:31
180 medical founder todd brown's story

After our recent post to assuage fears about catheterization, you may have some more questions or some curiosity about our founder, Todd Brown, and a little more about 180 Medical's unique perspective in the catheter and ostomy supply industry.

Todd's inspiring story begins with his passion for sports and staying active. He grew up playing basketball, participating in track, and most of all, he loved motocross. Motocross is a physically-demanding, fast-paced form of motorcycle racing on mostly off-road, closed courses.

After graduating college, Todd was still actively involved in motocross, and then in 1994, during a daring motocross jump, he had a tragic accident. At only 25 years old, Todd was now a paraplegic with a T-7,8 spinal cord injury.

Adjusting to Life in a Wheelchair

180 medical founder todd brownTodd's life was forever changed that day, and even as friends and family came to visit him in the hospital, he kept a positive attitude about everything as he recovered. His natural tenacious drive to keep going made Todd determined to never give up.

After two months of physical rehabilitation, he went back to work and began navigating life anew in a wheelchair. There were, of course, challenges to get through and overcome.

One of those challenges was dealing with frequent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Todd had only learned how to clean and reuse straight catheters, and this practice may increase the risk of UTIs. This recurrent issue left him feeling fatigued and drained much of the time.

Another difficulty Todd encountered was that the medical supply companies out there didn't seem to have customer service specialists that really cared about what he was going through, nor did they have proper knowledge of the products that might work best for his needs and other people living with spinal cord injuries.

Staying Active With a Spinal Cord Injury

Despite some of the challenges he was encountering at first, Todd knew he wasn't going to let his injury slow him down or hold him back from his passions in life. He got involved with adaptive sports and began wheelchair racing. He participated in his first wheelchair marathon just six months after his accident.

During this time, he met some good friends who were also living with spinal cord injuries. It was life-changing to find a close community of friends who could understand some of the frustrations he was dealing with as a new paraplegic.

Life Begins to Turn Around For the Better

When one of his friends in the wheelchair racing community found out that Todd was washing and reusing catheters, he let him know about sterile use (the practice of an intermittent catheter just one time and then disposing of it properly). He also gave Todd a closed system catheter to try out.

Immediately, Todd experienced the difference of how convenient, comfortable, and hygienic the closed system catheter was compared to his old method of reusing catheters. Once he switched to a catheter that worked for his individual needs and preferences, he began to practice sterile use by only using each catheter one time. Almost right away, his health improved, and the UTIs that had been dragging him down were a thing of the past.

180 medical founder todd brown wheelchair racing

Todd felt like his quality of life had turned around in a complete 180, and he began to think about what the quality of life might be like for other catheter-users. He realized that, since he had gone so long without knowing about sterile use and the availability of newer technology products like closed systems and hydrophilic catheters, there were surely others out there who were dealing with frequent UTIs and other challenges as he had.

He had experienced firsthand what it was like to deal with companies that treated him like just another number and medical suppliers that didn't understand his needs. That's when he realized he could do something to make a difference for others too. He wanted to create a company that would turn lives around.

The Founding of 180 Medical

Soon after, Todd and his wife, Annette, started a medical supply company out of their garage. He had high goals for this company. As it grew, he made sure that the staff he hired were well-trained and compassionate, and he wanted to make sure he had the best selection of brands available on the market.

180 medical catheter brands
Today, 180 Medical is one of the fastest-growing, nationally-accredited providers of sterile-use intermittent catheters, related urological supplies, and ostomy supplies, and we're known for our compassionate, well-trained staff as well as our dedication to offering our customers a top-quality service experience. 

You may enjoy this video, where you can meet Todd and hear his amazing story firsthand.

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for almost 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! 

Amazing Breakthrough in Spinal Cord Injury Research

by Jessica November 5 2013 17:19
180 Medical is excited to share the news of a recent breakthrough in the ongoing research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries!

Neuroscientist and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard University Dr. Zhigang He, PhD, BM, recently discovered a possible way to regenerate CST (corticospinal tract) nerves in an injured spine. In collaboration with director of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, Oswald Steward, PhD, Dr. He was able to successfully delete pTEN (a type of enzyme that basically communicates to cells to stop dividing, so there is no new growth) from the nerve cells in the brain of a test mouse. By taking out pTEN, Dr. He was then able to successfully encourage the nerve cells to grow, and the CST connections began to regenerate.

spinal cord injury research

Drs. He and Steward are continuing their current work to see if this can lead to restored movement in mice with spinal cord injuries.

180 Medical is a proud partner of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to finding the cure for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of those living with paralysis.

Photo credit: Cure Medical

180 medical jessAbout the Author: 

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 4 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such fun, caring company.

180 Medical Supports the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation

by Jessica October 28 2013 17:03
180 Medical was pleased to support a great run/walk/roll event earlier this month on October 6, 2013. Bryon’s Run to Cure Paralysis, an annual event resulting from the partnership between Carroll University and the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, raises money and awareness for those living with paralysis.

180 medical at bryon riesch paralysis foundation
We also recently supported BRPF’s recent “This Is How We Roll” Fashion Show Fundraiser on October 20, 2013. 180 Medical's Urologic Territory Specialist, Heather, was in attendance as well, who got to meet so many amazing ladies, young and old. Even some state senators and the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch, and State Representative Joe Kleefisch were in attendance. This amazing event was organized and created by Jenny Addis, who was injured in a car accident in 1997 and has been a friend of the BRPF for some time. Each of the participating models in the fashion show were affected by paralysis.

180 medical at bryon riesch paralysis foundation
The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation (BRPF) was founded to further medical research to find a cure for paralysis and also to assist those with spinal cord injuries and others struggling with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological disorders. After an accident in 1998 left Bryon paralyzed from the chest down, his loved ones put together a fundraiser to help him through the difficult transition, which then transitioned into a full-fledged foundation in 2001 to help others who, like Bryon, are faced with the difficult situation of paralysis.

180 medical at bryon riesch paralysis foundation
Of course this organization’s goal is close to 180 Medical’s heart, as our own CEO, Todd Brown, is also paralyzed from the chest down due to a devastating motocross accident that occurred in 1994. When Todd came home from the rehabilitation facility following his accident, he realized how difficult it was to adjust to his new life in a wheelchair – not to mention dealing with constant urinary tract infections on top of that! When some good friends introduced to him to intermittent catheter products that are specifically designed to reduce the risk of UTIs, and Todd’s health did a 180, it was only a little bit later that he decided to create 180 Medical – a company with a specific mission to provide unparalleled service, top quality products, and education. You can learn more about Todd’s story here on YouTube.

Bryon’s Run to Cure Paralysis and the “This Is How We Roll” Fashion Show Fundraiser were both great successes, and we’re so glad to be a part of continuing support for those living with paralysis.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 4 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Set Sail 2013

by Jessica September 4 2013 17:12

180 Medical and our subsidiary South Shore Medical are proud to be sponsors of the annual Set Sail 2013 event to be held on Sunday, September 8, 2013, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the new, state-of-the-art Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in the Charlestown Navy Yard (in Charlestown, MA).

Presented by the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Set Sail is an annual fundraiser for the Dr. Charles H. Weingarten Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program, which was founded with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation by helping to enable all individuals, regardless of ability or injury, to lead active lives through introduction to fun recreational activities and sports. This program, now located on the Boston harbor, helps those of all abilities to find courage, strength, and confidence through various, challenging sports such as kayaking, biking, basketball, and more.

The afternoon event benefiting this great program will be filled with live music, barbecue, boating, games, face-painting, appearances from local sports teams, a silent auction, Barn Babies petting zoo ( and much more!

If you’re in the area, please stop by to join in on the fun and help support a fantastic organization!  Check out the Set Sail website for ticket prices and directions to the event.

For more information, visit the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s page at

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for four years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Image credit: Set Sail

Spinal Cord Injury FAQs

by admin August 6 2013 11:19
180 medical staff in wheelchairsAt 180 Medical, we like to do all we can to make sure our customers have all of the information they need about their catheter supplies as well as their condition. Today, we're going over a few of the most frequently asked questions about living with a SCI (spinal cord injury).

Why am I in pain?

Most people think that spinal cord injuries cause only sensory loss and paralysis, but it's not abnormal to experience pain and spasms after you sustain a spinal cord injury. In fact, it's estimated that over half of all people living with a SCI experience pain.

Damage to the inhibitory systems of the spinal cord and reorganization of the spinal cord circuitry can lead to increased excitability, which leads to spasms as well as the presence of spontaneous pain.

Why do my legs feel like they are in water?

Our sensory systems are not just conduits for sensations from the periphery to our brains. The brain and the spinal cord are constantly filtering signals. For example, we accommodate rapidly to sensations, so that we can ignore constant sensory input, such as those resulting from clothing and shoes. At the same time, we also increase sensitivity. For instance, have you ever wondered why people are ticklish? The slightest touch (even imaginary touches can produce strong sensory responses.

Spinal cord injuries can damage not only the sensory connections, but also the pathways that control one's sensory threshold, which can lead to abnormal sensations, such as the legs feeling like they are underwater.


Why do my hands and feet swell?

The spinal cord is a big part of controlling blood flow in the limbs. Normally, when a person stands up, the blood vessels in the legs constrict to keep all the blood from pooling in the legs. Likewise, muscle activity squeezes the veins so that the blood is pushed up the veins, which have valves that prevent the blood from running backwards. This pumping action moves blood back into the body.

These normal vascular reflexes can often be impaired after sustaining a spinal cord injury. Support hose and other accessories and devices can help move fluid from the limbs. We suggest discussing these issues with your healthcare professional.


Why do my joints ache?

Aching in various joints of the body can be pretty common after a spinal cord injury, and sometimes this is due to overuse or over-exercising certain parts of the body.

Wrist and shoulder pain, for example, is fairly common in people who use manual wheelchairs. While a spinal cord injury can cause neuropathic pain that may be centered on the wrists, it is important to rule out other potential causes of such pain before concluding that it is due to spinal cord injury. It's always best to discuss these issues with your doctor.

Why is my bladder no longer working right?

Urinary and bowel issues are not uncommon after a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries often damage the nerves that control the bladder and bowels. Sometimes, this results in an excitable or spastic bladder, or the bladder may be fully retentive.

A normal reflex of the bladder is to expand when it is filled with urine, and then when you are ready to use the bathroom, the sphincter of the bladder relaxes to allow the urine to flow out.

With a spinal cord injury, the bladder may be full, but the sphincter does not relax. If the urine isn't drained, this can cause the pressure inside the bladder to rise, which can even force urine to go back up into the ureters, which are the tubes that flow from the kidneys into the bladder.

A bladder that cannot release urine normally on its own can cause infections and complications, so one option to treat this issue is intermittent catheterization. During intermittent catheterization, a sterile catheter is inserted (most typically through the urethra or a surgically-created stoma) to drain the bladder. Once finished, the catheter can be disposed of.

Because foley catheters, also known as indwelling catheters, stay placed in the bladder for long periods of time, this may cause urinary tract and bladder infections.

Using sterile intermittent catheters may be the right approach, depending on your individual anatomy and condition, as well as the severity of your spinal cord injury. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what will work best for your needs.

Other options may include medication or surgical procedures such as bladder augmentation.

Todd Brown, 180 Medical's founder, lives with a spinal cord injury, and it was always a goal of his to make sure 180 Medical is a great resource for anyone needing to use catheters due to their spinal cord injury.

Questions about catheter products? Contact us today!

About the Author:

Trish has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and daughters.

Integris Jim Thorpe Courage Run

by kier May 7 2012 16:59
Our corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City has been making it a tradition to participate in the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Courage Run each year. This year's race was held on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, OK. The 5K, 10K, 1 mile fun run, and wheelchair events give the community an opportunity to raise money to provide patients at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation benefits that traditional reimbursement does not cover.

180 medical at jim thorpe courage run

INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation is located in Oklahoma City and is an inpatient, outpatient, and community-based rehabilitative care for children and adults requiring stroke rehabilitation, with an acquired 180 medical employees at jim thorpe courage runtraumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or brain tumor, and for rehab services relating to amputation and prosthesis and joint replacement. 

180 Medical won the President's Award for The Most Participation for the second year in a row. We had over 110 participants on our team. It was a beautiful morning,  fun event, and an even better cause. We are looking forward to participating next year!

180 medical employees at jim thorpe courage run

Reeve Foundation Shares Todd Brown's Success Story

by kier January 10 2012 10:56
Last August the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation chose our Founder & CEO, Todd Brown, as their next success story highlighting lives of those with paralysis who have risen above the struggles. The series includes videos on other inspirational people like Jesse Billauer from Life Rolls On, Scott Chesney, and Bob Yant from Cure Medical - just to name a few. View the video below which tells about how Todd was injured and how he and his family adjusted to his new life in a wheelchair.

View the blog post about the video shoot from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation blog here.

180 Medical is one of America's fastest growing nationally accredited providers of sterile-use catheters, urologic, and disposable medical supplies. 180 Medical is used as a referral source for some of the top rehabilitation facilities, pediatric hospitals and urologists in the world because of their extensive knowledge and customer care. The company has offices across the country and their products are covered by thousands of health plans, insurance networks, and state Medicaid programs. 

Independence After SCI

by admin September 22 2011 12:20
One of my first thoughts after being told I would not walk again (well, after thinking about vans, wheelchair parking and never getting a date again) was I didn’t want to have to depend on people constantly. I had been independent. I had moved out of my parents’ home and had been attending college and was enrolled in school to start again once summer ended. My summer ended a lot earlier than I thought on July 26th when a car struck me going 60 mph. 

I wanted to sit in the rain and feel the grass underneath my feet but I couldn’t even roll myself over in bed. All in time I gained my independence but it came at a snail’s pace, it seemed. Once I was off bed rest, I still had trouble transferring and several therapists used to joke with me about carrying a transfer board in my backpack of my wheelchair. They said “Rob, why do you always carry that transfer board around?” The answer was simple I thought, in case I needed to transfer. I did not want to depend upon people. 

Dependence upon people is a necessary part of life though. A necessary part of everyone’s life but when you are 19 (or any age) you have something like walking or even moving your arms taken away it’s terrifying. A book called Tuesdays With Morrie helped me accept the fact that there are times when I need help. Rather than a reminder of what I can’t do, it is a huge blessing to have the help of loved ones or the kindness of strangers there to help me. 

It used to take me 45 minutes every morning to get dressed. Now, depending upon how late I am running, it takes as little as 5 minutes. There is no more transfer board behind my chair. I have found that even sitting down, I am able to do more than I ever thought possible. I ended up not needing a van and even bought a motorcycle or two that I ride, when they are not broken down. Independence is different for everyone and since I’m a paraplegic it might seem that I have more independence than those that have higher levels of spinal cord injury trauma, independence is also a state of being or mind. I am free to make decisions and choose how to feel or how to act. Early on after my accident I read a quote by a young man who was paralyzed and he said that before his accident there were 1,000 things he could do and that after his accident there were 900 things he could do. The numbers of course were just for impact but what struck me was he said that he chooses to focus on the 900 things he can do instead of the 100 things he can’t do. By the way, I’m yet to find something I can’t do. 

Rob Repelling
Rob repelling at Red Rock Canyon in Hinton, OK 2 years post injury.

Rob is a Rehab Specialist at 180 Medical. He is a motivational speaker on living life after a spinal cord injury. Rob is active in adaptive sports, spinal cord injury associations, and peer mentoring. You can find out more about his adventures on his facebook page, SCI Connection.

Officer Chad Peery, Not Giving Up

by kier September 2 2011 15:19
In February of this year, Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery was off duty having dinner with his father, when three men in the back of the establishment began causing a commotion. The owner requested help getting the three men to leave the building. Peery was off-duty, but as an officer made it his responsibility to help. Tragically, as Chad escorted the men to the door, they turned on him. He was badly beaten and left paralyzed by the incident. 

Peery has been in rehabilitation and has been making a remarkable recovery. He believes he will walk again and has always kept a positive attitude and a smile on his face.

Peery recently received a standing ovation when being honored at a local baseball stadium, where he loved to work security as an off-duty police officer. Chad Peery has proven to be a true hometown hero and the city of Oklahoma City has been there with overwhelming support for both him and his family. Peery has four children age 9, 7, 6, and 3.  

Below is a video about Peery from his rehabilitation center where he received the 2011 Jim Thorpe Courage Award.

SCI Anniversary

by admin July 26 2011 13:32

Today is the anniversary of my accident, it's been 17 years. There have been years when I haven't even noticed and let the date pass on by but this year is different. I now have an opportunity to work more within the spinal cord community and this year I remembered.

My accident happened July 26, 1994 as a result of an auto-pedestrian accident where I had the misfortune of being the pedestrian instead of the automobile. :)  Seventeen years ago I was in ICU and doctors were not sure if I was going to live. After 4 days in a coma, I woke up. My family was told that I would be paralyzed from the chest down and would most likely have brain damage. Well, when I woke up I was no more brain damaged than I had ever been but I was unable to move my legs. 

Seventeen years ago I thought my life was over and now 17 years later I know that my life was just beginning - I just hadn't realized it yet. That day I began one of the most exciting journeys of my life and I'm still on it. I'm so glad I survived and am thankful for all the support of friends and family that I have been blessed with over the last 17 years.

I'm looking forward to help more and more people realize that it's not the end of their's just the beginning.

Ohio Wheelchair Games

by kier June 7 2011 16:29
The Ohio Wheelchair Sports Association hosted the 41st annual Ohio Wheelchair Games May 12th - 14th in Columbus, Ohio.  Events included swimming, table tennis, bowling, weightlifting, boccia, air guns, track & field, archery, and billiards. 

180 Medical was very excited about the opportunity to help sponsor such an awesome event! 

Learn more and connect with the Ohio Wheelchair Sports association at their Facebook page.

Ohio Wheelchair Games

Reeve Foundation Road Show in Houston

by kier May 10 2011 14:55
180 Medical is a proud sponsor of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and its Road Shows. They are happening all around the country and this time it was in Houston, Texas.

We spent an evening with the Reeve Foundation President and CEO, Peter Wilderotter and Executive Vice President of Research, Susan Howley learning about the state of spinal cord and paralysis research, more on the paralysis resource center along with the family support program. 

Find out more about the Reeve Road Shows at

Pictured: Joel & Dustin, two of our Texas representatives

180 Medical is Ready to Run

by kier May 10 2011 09:34

2011 Courage Run

Almost 100 people on the 180 Medical Team got together on Saturday, May 8th to participate in the 7th annual Integris Jim Thorpe Courage Run in Oklahoma City, OK.  The event included a 10k, 5k, 1 mile fun run as well as wheelchair and handcycle divisions. 

This event honors those who have displayed courage as they have gone through their rehabilitation process. All proceeds from the event assist patients with rehabilitation needs that traditional reimbursement does not cover.

180 Medical won "Largest Team" at the run!

Here are some pictures from the event:

About Integris Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center: Located in Oklahoma City, Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation is an inpatient, outpatient, and community-based rehabilitative center for those that have acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputee or orthopedic conditions.