Spinal Cord Injury Prevention - SCI Illinois

If you could prevent someone from becoming critically injured, would you? Maybe you can-and all you have to do is contact us.

Most brain and spinal cord injuries can be prevented by using very simple safety measures and we would like to offer your students the opportunity to hear this important message.

The SCIA has been presenting injury prevention programs for more than 25 years. THINK FIRST is an award-winning national brain and spinal cord injury prevention program that has been presented to thousands of students throughout Chicago and the suburbs. People who present the programs have sustained injuries and speak from their personal experiences. They relate their stories and offer very simple precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of injury. The program has been extremely well received by students and many teachers have made it part of their curriculum.

If you would like to schedule THINK FIRST for your students, please contact our office. There is no charge for this program. Please don’t hesitate to call with questions.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Meet 2 of our speakers:


At the age of 14, Lee was paralyzed by a genetic condition called arterial venal malformations of the spinal cord. Learning to live with paralysis was a long, tedious process, but with great family support, Lee has done remarkably well. She went on to work for the FBI for 13 years, and now currently works for Advocate Christ Hospital as a Rehab Resource Tech and Peer Counselor. She has been married since 2002, to her husband Karl. Lee and Karl are the very proud “parents” of Merlot.

Merlot is an amazing service dog who helps Lee with many tasks. Lee is rarely seen without her four-footed friend. Lee and Merlot adds depth to injury prevention programs about living with severe disability.


Sometimes it takes something really bad to wake a person up.

Wardell Kyles is one of those people. He was involved in a shooting that resulted in him becoming a paraplegic. That was followed by a long arduous process of physical rehabilitation followed by an even harder time changing his attitude about life and becoming a positive,
good natured person.

Today Wardell is passionate about educating young people about the dangers of engaging in risk taking behavior and doing all they can to keep safe, to Think First. He is equally passionate about mentoring young men who are new to the world of spinal cord injury. He works to keep them on the right path to wellness and productive lifestyles. He lets them know that, “Just because you are in a wheelchair , life Is not over.” “The chair doesn’t define us.”