About Erica C.


At the time of my injury I was 23 and had just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles for work. I was excited to be taking a trip home, seeing family, friends and celebrating my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. That night after their party my brother and I went for a late night snack and I never made it home.  The accident was only half of a mile from our parent’s house- I sustained a C6 SCI and was paralyzed.

I remember being at Beaumont only days after my injury and asking the doctor about the feelings of electricity shooting through my legs- he said, “It’s nothing.” How could it be “nothing” when I was clearly feeling “something”? From then on I realized that if a physical recovery were in my future, I would be the one to make it happen.

Since then I have actively pursued my physical recovery.  My family and I traveled the country and the world, tirelessly searching for the latest treatments and programs to advance my recovery.  In the first year, both arms and even a finger or two were starting to work and build strength.  With each advancement my resolve and belief in recovery was renewed.

In March 2003, I became the first American to have Dr. Lima’s OMA tissue transplant surgery in Portugal. This procedure consisted of removing part of my olfactory mucosa tissue (containing stem cells and other regenerative cells) and transplanting it into the lesion in my spinal cord.  In addition to the surgical procedure, a rigorous exercise based training program has been vital to my ongoing recovery.

In 2007 my parents, my boyfriend (now husband) Ira and I started Walk The Line to SCI Recovery. Together with an amazing team of trainers and Dr. Hinderer we set out to put everything we had learned and already knew into action—all in one program. Since then, my progress has sky rocketed! You can check out my photos and videos to see just how far I’ve come…

Being part of Walk The Line is one of the greatest opportunities in my life. I have met so many amazing individuals that are a constant source of inspiration, friendship and, of course, entertainment.

Often people view my situation as tragic but the last 10 years has been a continuing process of growth both physically and personally.  The message here is to create your own destiny. The mind is a powerful thing and with determination you create opportunities where others see misfortune.