Spinal Cord Injury BC

Impact Stories

Peer Member

Tabassum Chagani

“This organization has totally changed my perspective.”

“I have been with this organization for a very long time, since the time it was called the BC Paraplegic Association (BCPA). I am originally from Karachi Pakistan; I have been in Canada since 1994.

Through Spinal Cord Injury BC, I have met a lot of people whom I had probably heard about but never really met, and it was a great experience. And I got a chance to talk to people who have traveled so much, and who have had such wonderful experiences, despite being in a wheelchair and despite a disability, despite having lot of limitations. They have tried to live a full life and I think they have done a very good job of it.

This organization has totally changed my perspective. I had polio as a child, I was not in a wheelchair always, and my muscles have diminished. In the past 10 to 12 years I have been more and more dependent on the wheelchair and this transition was very emotionally draining for me.

But when I came across these people who were living such full lives being in a wheelchair, I thought to myself, why do I feel sorry for myself? Being in a wheelchair does not change who I am and if this is something that is necessary for me, then I think this is a great option and it’s definitely something I am going to use and it’s going to be something I’m happy with.

I am working full time. I am travelling a lot. I have been able to see a few of the wonders of the world—the Taj Mahal, the pyramids and the Niagara Falls—all in a wheelchair. I don’t feel at all sorry for myself anymore. We are all given lives and what we make out of it depends on ourselves, and I am most definitely going to make the most of it.

This community is an inclusive community. It includes everybody who looks different who comes from a different ethnic background, who speaks a different language they all include you. This is a wonderful thing. This has enabled me to be part of this community that is accepting. It’s a community that accepts you for all you are, for all your abilities and disabilities. It’s about the abilities that people bring out, and that is the most beautiful part of it. That’s the most beautiful thing about Spinal Cord Injury BC.”