Spinal Cord Injury Inspires 8 Summit Project


Spinal stroke survivor, Nathan Jones will climb eight of Australia’s highest summits in October 2014, aims to raise $25,000 for the Spinal Cord Injury Network. 

Photograph: (From left to right) Nathan after injury, during recovery, and rock climbing after recovering from a spinal stroke. Courtesy of Nathan Jones. 

In October 2014, Nathan Jones and climbing partner Jay Onciarich will commence the “8 Summit Project,” a quest to climb the eight highest mountains in Australia over 15 days. Nathan, who had a spinal stroke in 2011, hopes to raise $25,000 and donate it to the Spinal Cord Injury Network.

For the ‘8 Summit Project’, Nathan and Jay plan to climb Mt Osaa (TAS), Mt Bogong (VIC), Mt Kosciusko (NSW), Bimberi Peak (ACT), Mt Bartle Frere (QLD), Mt Zeil (NT), St Mary’s Peak (SA), Mt Meharry (WA) to raise awareness of spinal cord injury. The project will finish in Melbourne with a deserved celebration.

It was in a fitness class in 2011 that Nathan experienced a “shooting sensation” up his spine. After a week of hospitalisation and terrible pain, Nathan was diagnosed as having had a spinal stroke. Many weeks later and two days into rehabilitation, he was rushed back to hospital and diagnosed with breathing problems due to blood clots in the lungs.

Nathan was paralysed down the left side of his body. It was predicted he would never walk again.

“After weeks of rehabilitation, I got back on my feet and was never going to look back. I haven't looked back.

“Now I want to give to those who are in need, as I was once someone in need,” says Nathan.

Inspired by overcoming his injury, Nathan and Jay formed SCUG Adventure, created from their appreciation for the great outdoors, to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and raise funds for organisations such as the Spinal Cord Injury Network.

Spinal Cord Injury Network CEO Dr Stephanie Williams says Nathan has made a remarkable recovery.

“Spinal stroke is a rare condition that can cause tissue damage and disrupt nerve messages.

 "Nathan’s recovery and his plan to climb eight summits is an inspiration,” she says.

The Spinal Cord Injury Network is an alliance of leading scientists, healthcare professionals, community members and other key stakeholders who are working together to improve treatments and find a cure for spinal cord injuries.

To help Nathan reach his $25,000 goal please donate at www.everydayhero.com.au/SCUG8summit 

For more information about the 8 Summit Project visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpinalNetwork or www.facebook.com/8SummitProject

For more information about SCUG Adventure visit www.scugadventure.com/Home_Page.php

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