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Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 Toral Family Foundation Contest

July 6, 2011

On June 7th, Frank Toral, Founder of the Toral Family Foundation, had an opportunity to visit the Broward Spinal Cord Injury Support Group, where he presented the members and attendees of the group with a contest opportunity.  The contestants had to answer the following question:

“What has been the most encouraging thing that has happened to you since your spinal cord injury.”

First , Second and Third  place winners were announced on July 5th as well as two runner up winners.  There was also a participation award for the entire group in the amount of $650. Click to see Contest Rules

This was an opportunity for the group members to share their stories as well as raise funds for their organization and it was a success!

Below are the winning entries:

1st Place

The most encouraging thing that has happened to me since my spinal cord injury has to be my faith in God.  My spinal cord injury was from a motorcycle accident almost 20 years ago.  It changed my life in the blink of an eye.  Without God in my life, I don’t know if I would have the will to live each day in my wheelchair.  To spend an earthly existence in a wheelchair is nothing, knowing that I’ll spend an eternity without one.  Knowing that I’ll spend eternity in a “glorified” body that never gets old, has no disease, or injury, or sickness is something that just energizes me.  My faith has inspired me to help others with disabilities, and to encourage them to explore their own faith in God.  I can’t imagine living with a disability, without knowing God and without having an assurance of what awaits us.  1 John 5:13  says “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  The older we get, the more we realize that life is too short.  It’s what we do with our lives that make a difference for others in this world, and, quite possibly, for an eternity.

R. B.

2nd Place

I am Spinal Cord Injury, incomplete T5-T10 syringomyelia; discs herniated C3, C4, C5, C6, L5; dissected discs between T7, T8 and T9; compression fracture T3, T4 and T5.

From the moment in which I suffered the accident that damaged me spinal cord, almost nothing good has happened to me. My personal situation has deteriorated steadily. In aspects social, economic and family everything has been falling. However, my faith in God remains high. Despite all the difficulties, I have a completely new outlook.

The most encouraging thing that happened to me is that I discovered the other side of love: “The Solidarity“. My wife Dina accompanies me, looks after me and has shown me another figure of the greatness of love, which was one of the causes of having fallen in love with her. For this reason, this is an opportunity to give testimony of my appreciation and admiration for her. Thank you for the occasion to demonstrate it.

I owe much to Dina, especially because she enrolled me to be part of this support group for people with spinal cord damage, because in this place I could learn more about my illness and share similar experiences with members of the group, and thereby gain access to the improvement of the quality of life that I miss.

Thanks, J.F.

3rd Place

S*I** HAPPENED…

Jumping out of a tree into a lake happened…

to cause my spinal cord injury.

Believing in God happened…

to give me reason and hope.

Having supportive family and friends happened…

to help me overcome numerous obstacles.

Living in an era with advanced science and technology happened…

to allow me to be independent.

Attending college happened…

to give me the tools to succeed.

Going to HealthSouth for a wheelchair evaluation happened…

to introduce me to Sue Krinsky.

Being part of a group of caring and supportive individuals happened…

to inspire me to advocate for those affected by spinal cord injury.

SCISG HAPPENED…

TO ENCOURAGE ME TO BE A BETTER TEAM MEMBER!