An SCI leads to an OT career
Gave up on calf support because the product supplied with the chair was too short, too stiff and came off the chair during each transfer
Increased lower extremity stability and decreased tone which reduced calf muscle tightness
Julie Grant began her education at the University of Oregon in the physical therapy program. In her first quarter, a serious car accident left her with a spinal cord injury. After a year of rehabilitation, she returned to school and was advised to switch majors. Taking the advice, she switched her major to psychology.
Through her own experience, Julie discovered a passion for Occupational Therapy (OT). "What I like about the field of OT is it's about doing as much as you can with what you have.” Julie describes OTs as professional problem solvers. The question is always, "What can I (or you) do?" Julie says, "I've been a problem solver my entire life. With my disability, it’s even more so- whether I'm figuring out where to park or how to access out-of-reach washing machine controls, my constant training as a problem solver led me to this field. Now, it's my job.”
When asked to define “strength,” Julie says, “I don’t think of muscles. I think of personal strength. You know, the positive traits that make you who you are. The strength that’s determined from within. It’s not being afraid to share who you are with the world.”
When asked, “How do you strengthen your position?” Julie highlights the value of knowledge. “I am a natural researcher, when I need an answer to a question I always look to multiple sources to make sure that I make a well informed decision. I'm lucky enough to have personal and professional mentors who support me, and I'm good at finding resources that can help me. I know that I love helping others, and I never mind sharing advice, so I often to look to others for advice as well. This ties in to wheelchair positioning - my understanding of anatomy, as well as my experiences of being a wheelchair user has taught me that it's very important to have the best equipment that is set up to support my body. With the right equipment I can be much more independent in my life, and do a lot more, which in turn benefits others.”