A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year. The year has started with omicron putting a damper on many winter festivities in the northern hemisphere and summer fun in the southern hemisphere but, of even more concern, is the changes in climate that we are all noticing with forest / bush / wild fires, often unexpectedly, and late snow in places which expected snow before Christmas, and famine,  floods, landslides and earthquakes affecting parts of the world which can least afford the devastation and starvation. If that’s a concern for us, how much worse is it for people with disabling conditions, particularly people living with SCI and are dependent on wheelchairs for their mobility. 

For my birthday in 2021, I raised money for Motivation Australia Development Organization (an off shoot of Motivation Org UK). Motivation donates wheelchairs and other equipment that are designed to suit the conditions where they are required, working with local organizations.

There are so many ways in which we can provide support to people with SCI - for most of us, simply doing our daily work whether we are clinicians, researchers, peer counsellors, service leaders or managers, but if we can assist in other ways, we should. Many ISCoS members, race to help when there is a disaster, many have gone well beyond their rehabilitation and surgical training to assist in Covid management for people with SCI and their families. Many of us have had the misfortune to catch Covid despite vaccinations and some of ‘our’ people have succumbed to it.

I salute you all for the little things we all do daily and the things we do outside our actual working days to help others.

We all hoped that 2021 would be better than 2020 and it wasn’t. Now we are hoping that 2022 is better and, as the borders open more and planes start flying, I am truly hopeful that many of us will be able to meet in Vancouver in September, although some will attend virtually I know, so please submit your abstracts now before it’s too late.

If you are wondering why we have called for nominations for the position of ISCOS Hon. secretary…

With much sadness for me personally, I had to accept Susie Charlifue’s resignation from her position of our Hon. Secretary due to her position on the ASIA Board and upcoming elevation in May to the position of Vice-President of ASIA and then to President very soon thereafter.  There is only so much work that one person can do but Susie will continue to be involved in many ISCoS activities.  Susie - we wish you well in this very important position and work!

I look forward to hearing from you if you feel the need and would love to receive your stories about what other tasks you take on to assist people with SCI and our colleagues elsewhere in the world outside of your everyday work.

Stay well, stay healthy and be happy… and if you catch Covid, please take the time to recover properly. Yes, you may be needed at work, but you need to be well first.

Take care and best wishes to you all


Prof Ruth Marshall MBBS, DPRM, FAFRM (RACP) E: Ruth.iscos@internode.on.net

President, International Spinal Cord Society

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Stoke Mandeville Hospital,
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