Little Things. Big Impact.

Every day, the small things we do make a big difference in the lives of
British Columbians with spinal cord injuries.

Whether you’re newly injured or dealing with the ongoing challenges of living and aging with a physical disability, we have you covered from A to Z. And this year’s 2015-16 Annual Report reflects just that!

The best way to read our story is to scroll from beginning to end.

But, if you’re looking for specific information, please click the icons below.

stenciladjust, adapt, and thrive.

A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone at any time.

Whether someone is dealing with a new injury or struggling with the ongoing challenges of living and aging with a physical disability, we’re there to connect people with the Peer Support and Information Services they need. We’re the go-to resource for the SCI community in British Columbia and a national leader in the Peer Support model.

We know all about living with spinal cord injury, because we’ve been there, too.



In one way or another, I’ve been involved in the world of spinal cord injury for 25 years, and what I’ve always been struck by is how often seemingly small things lead to the biggest positive impacts for people with SCI and their families.

It’s often a bit of wisdom or kick in the butt from a peer. A nugget of information from our Information Services that answers a frustrating question about how to do, find, or access something. Or inspiration from seeing or hearing stories of members who have overcome similar challenges and are leading active and rewarding lives. It’s easy to overlook these small things, to miss their importance, but they are really what SCI BC and our members are all about.

Together, the small things we do are making big things happen.

—Chris McBride


offee and connections.


Throughout the province, 1,309 people came out to one of 154 “Bean There” support groups to share and grow in each others’ triumphs and struggles.

Last fall, when a elderly woman living with a spinal cord injury relocated alone to Northern BC, she struggled to make friends. So Alison, our Quesnel Peer Coordinator, encouraged her to attend one of our monthly luncheons…

“She ended up sitting beside one of our middle aged male peers who suffers from a bit of ‘potty mouth’ syndrome,” says Alison. “I have to admit, I was a bit concerned he might say something to offend her. But to my pleasure and surprise, it was quite the opposite. They got along beautifully! They chatted and laughed. He was fascinated by her stories and she appreciated his uncensored take on life.”

Both have come to subsequent lunches. (And they’ve even talked about going out for coffee together!)


We always see people first. But the numbers show that spinal cord injury is on the rise.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can happen to anyone at anytime. There are an estimated 12,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in BC, with 500 new injuries occurring each year.

As our population ages, the number of new SCIs will increase…


are aged 60 and older


are unemployed (but not unemployable)

vents large and small.

Friends old and new.

1,867 people with spinal cord injuries or related disabilities, and their family and friends, attended at least one of the 200+ peer events held throughout BC. 99 new people with SCI or a related disability registered with the Peer Support Program.

stencilfriends and followers.

Last year, we had 2,047 SCI BC members and peers living in communities throughout BC.



e-newsletter subscribers


visits to our website


Facebook fans


Twitter followers


YouTube subscribers


YouTube views

 F Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

Dealing with a new spinal cord injury in rehab is one thing, but adjusting to an SCI in the real world is another.

Our GF Strong office saw a lot of traffic from outpatients and inpatients alike. Peer Coordinators like Richard and Teri worked tirelessly to connect with people with new injuries, and their family and friends, to let them know they’re not alone.


155 people attended 31 Rehab Rap evenings. Our Peer Coordinators also led 45 education sessions, 10 webinars, and more than 560 one-to-one meetings in the GF Strong office.

 eather Lamb.

SCI BC’s Information Resource Specialist.

If you’ve ever called our toll-free InfoLine, chances are you’ve come ear-to-ear with Heather Lamb. Each month, Heather teams up with Bert Abbott to answer hundreds of queries about employment, housing, health, or any other SCI-related concern.

Have a question about living with a physical disability in British Columbia? You’re in very good hands. Not only does Heather have mean research skills and her Master’s degree in Social Work, but this year she received the Bridget Moran Award for her tireless, behind-the-scenes dedication to the community. Oh, and she also made Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40!

Last year, the InfoLine fielded 2,820 InfoLine requests and queries. 1,392 were phone calls and 1,380 were sent by email. Here’s who contacted us:


Person with SCI or related physical disability


Family and Friends


General Public


Health Care Agency

To ask questions about…

  • Housing 17% 17%
  • Equipment 10% 10%
  • Funding 9% 9%
  • SCI BC 7% 7%
  • Employment 7% 7%
  • Other 50% 50%

 nformation Resources. 24/7.

No matter where you are in BC, and where you’re at with your spinal cord injury, our online information services always have you covered.

Here’s the kind of traffic our information resource websites saw in 2015-16:


visits to SCI Info Database


SCI Info Database Page Views


Visits to Housing Board


Housing Page Views

92,970 visits to our SCI BC websites


Visits to Job Board


Job Board Page Views


Visits to Swap & Shop


Swap & Shop Page Views

ust right.

Sometimes something just fits.

Whether it’s a peer connection, a new way to try something, or a missing piece of the living-with-SCI puzzle. That’s exactly what happened to David.

When one of our members had to scale down his life and move into an RV, his spare chair needed a new home. So we posted it on our Swap ‘n’ Shop. Within a few days, David emailed and arranged to come take a look at it. He had recently been diagnosed with MS and was having a hard time. He rescheduled a few times, but David finally made it down to our office.

The chair was a perfect fit—but so was the relationship. After struggling to find confidence and acceptance, David found a group of like-minded peers. (And a slew of pretty awesome events, too.)


The Iranian meat patties that brought us together.

This year, we added some extra flavour to our regular accessible cooking classes and encouraged participants to bring forward their cultural dishes and stories. Last August, Ebby and Mohee shared their Iranian favourites, kotlet patties, shirazi salad, and mirza ghashemi eggplant dip, and deepened our appreciation for Persian cuisine—and our understanding of life with a disability in the Middle East.

 ittle things.

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that the right thing, said or done at the right time, can make all the difference.

Big impact can come in a small package. Here’s how one little dog made a big impression on the life of someone with a new spinal cord injury.

 agazines that matter.

With 16,658 readers per quarterly issue, The Spin magazine continued to deliver disability-specific content that connected, informed and inspired the SCI community in British Columbia and abroad.


Part of the great work we do is making sure the numbers add up.

Revenue Sources 

(for year ending March 31, 2016)

Events and Projects  |  2%
Bequests  |  10%
Corporations  |  12%
Individual Donations  |  8%
Government  |  15%

BC Paraplegic Foundation  |  16%
Gaming  |  12%
Fees for Service  |  6%
⬤ Community Organization Grants and Donations  |  16%
Other  |  3%

Summary of Operations

(for year ending March 31, 2016)





Surplus (Deficit)

Summary of Financial Position

(for year ending March 31, 2016)


Liabilities and Net Assets

Complete Statements

Completed financial statements, audited by Manning Elliott LLP, as well as the auditors’ reports on those financial statements, are available upon request by calling 604-326-1225 or emailing info@sci-bc.ca.

stencilodark h, I could never do that…

“Feel beautiful again”

…WOMEN’S BRUNCH in Vancouver

“Hit the waves with my daughter”


“Race 5km”


“Bring my mom to an event”

…FAMILY + FRIENDS WELCOME  around British Columbia

“Feel worry-free”

…BC FERRIES DINNER CRUISE  on the Georgia Strait

“Pick up a paintbrush”


“Try something new”

…MULTI SPORTS DAY in Vancouver

“Feel comfortable under water”

…SCUBA DIVING in Prince George

“Take on a Paralympic Champion”

…SPORTS DAYS  in Vancouver, Vernon and Prince George

“Find the courage to soar”

…HELICOPTER TOUR in Prince George

“Just be myself”

…EVENTS + PEER MEETUPS around British Columbia

artners and supporters.

Each and every gift, of all types and sizes, made a big impact through SCI BC’s programs, services and support to thousands of British Columbians. To our donors, sponsors, volunteers and partners: Thank You!


Allen & Loreen Vandekerkhove Family Foundation
BC Paraplegic Foundation
City of Prince George
City of Vancouver
Community Foundation of the North Okanagan
District of North Vancouver
District of West Vancouver
Government of Canada

McMaster University, Dept of Kinesiology
Neil Squire Society
North Peace Savings & Credit Union
Northern Health
Prince George Community Foundation
Province of British Columbia
Provincial Employees Community Services Fund
Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
Rick Hansen Institute

Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix Life Foundation
Spinal Cord Injury Canada
United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island
United Way of Greater Victoria
United Way of the Lower Mainland
United Way of Northern British Columbia
University of British Columbia/ICORD
Vancouver Coastal Health
Victoria Foundation



The 1988 Foundation
Murphy Battista LLP
South Asian Rehab Committee
Vancouver International Airport Authority
Vancouver Regional Construction Association
West Shore Holdings Ltd.

$5,000 – $9,999

BC Club Challenge
Coloplast Canada Corporation
Macdonald’s Prescriptions Ltd.
Whole Foods Market

$2,000 – $4,999

Andrew Mahon Foundation
Gyro Club of Vancouver Charitable Foundation
Neptune Terminals (Canada) Ltd.
WorkSafe BC

$500 – $1,999

678859 B.C. Ltd.
A Taste of Punjab Restaurant
A-1 Railing & Gates Ltd.
Aulakh Group Personal Real Estate
Best Quality Cedar Products Ltd.
Bhai Ghanaya International Charity Society
Bill’s Trucking Ltd.
Brar’s Natural Flour Milling (BC) Ltd.
Chhina Toor CT Homes Ltd.
Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
D. Kingfisher Homes Ltd.
Desire Homes Inc.
Dhillon Designs Ltd.
Diamond Designs Ltd.
Eagle Fencing Ltd.
Eagle Mountain Farm Ltd.
End of the Roll Carpet
Fruitvale Community Chest
GeoPacific Consultants Ltd.
Grand Taj Banquet Halls

Grandview Construction Ltd.
Gurjit Gill & Associates
Harman Tile & Construction Ltd.
Helping Hands of WorkSafe BC
Highend Dream Custom Homes Ltd.
Punjab Iron & Lumber Supplies Ltd.
RBC Foundation
Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Canadian Legion Br 171
Shine Kitchen Cabinets Ltd.
Silvermere Pharmacy
Taj Homes & Development Ltd.
Team TELUS Charitable Giving
Templeton Homes Ltd.
Trotter & Morton Facility Services Inc.
Vancouver International Airport Authority
Vancouver Pot and Kettle Club
Wawanesa Assurance
West Shore Holdings Ltd.
Whole Foods Market
WorkSafe BC

We appreciated in-kind support provided by the following companies for SCI BC events and programs:

The Dakota Group
Flyover Canada

Nature’s Creations

Robert Scagel
Thrifty’s Foods

We were honoured to be remembered with bequest gifts – legacies that will benefit our community for years to come.

Estate of Miriam Jayne
Estate of Sylvia Ethel Minthorne

We were also very moved and grateful to receive gifts in memory or in honour of:

James Hartskamp
Rejean (Ray) Archambault
Hatsuyo Hikida
Gwen Kinzie
Cora Kobayashi

PARTNERSHIPS: SCI BC is very fortunate to work closely with many other organizations that benefit our community and we thank them for their collaboration and support:

BC Adaptive SnowSports
BC Housing
BC Personal Supports Network
BC Wheelchair Basketball Society*
BC Wheelchair Sports Association*
Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association
CRIS Adaptive Adventures
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
Kits Neighbourhood House
Lions Paraplegic Lodge Society
Marpole Richmond Sportsman’s Association

McMaster University
Neil Squire Society*
Open Door Group
Power to Be Adventure Therapy
Real Wheels Theatre
Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation*
SCI Action Canada
Spinal Cord Injury Canada and Provincial Corporate Partners
Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver South Lions Club

*These four organizations, along with SCI BC, comprise the BC Spinal Cord Injury Network, a collaboration established to create better opportunities for learning and sharing solutions with the SCI community.

We’re deeply grateful to each and every one of you. Unfortunately, we can’t list every supporter on this list. We’ve cut it down to major contributors and have purposely not included individual donors in consideration of their privacy. In reality, all gifts — of all sizes and types — are tremendously appreciated and valued by SCI BC and the community we serve.

We can’t thank you enough.


Just one of the many places we have Spinal Cord Injury BC Peer Coordinators throughout the province.

And our meet-up groups and events covered many more towns and cities around BC! Meet Quesnel’s Alison Duddy—and the rest of our team.



We partnered with investigators at ICORD,the world-renowned and Vancouver-based spinal cord injury research centre, and the Rick Hansen Institute to help bridge the gap between SCI BC peers and researchers. By recruiting new participants, we’re helping to improve the quality of life of people already living with a spinal cord injury—and those yet to come.


cott Heron. 

SCI BC Peer Support Specialist

Each year our Peer Support Specialists and Coordinators go above and beyond the call of duty, and Scott Heron (centre) is no exception. This year, the Victoria father of four worked hard to help people with spinal cord injuries on Vancouver Island adjust, adapt, and thrive.

Scott led meetups groups around the province and started new support and coffee groups where he thought they were lacking. He rallied the Victoria and Vancouver groups for a sunset dinner cruise aboard BC Ferries, giving many an unforgettable journey and incomparable bonding opportunity.

And, in September, Scott partnered with Power To Be to give a group of fathers with SCI and their children the experience of a lifetime: a Father-Daughter surf weekend in Tofino.  (It was such a hit, we put it on the cover of our 2015 Winter issue of The Spin!)

“Scott is so easy to talk to.  He knows what it’s like to live with a disability.”

“Scott creates a safe space where we can talk about anything—bladder problems, bowel issues, anything. I don’t feel alone anymore. I can call Scott or someone from the meeting and ask ‘What works for you?'”

“Scott and his amazing coffee group have been more helpful in teaching me how to manage my day-to-day challenges than any of the medical people.”


There may be an “i” in SCI, but our dedicated team made sure our members and peers were never at it alone.




Four interns gave their time, skills, and passion—and learned a little something in return.

Our Board of Directors lent us their dedication and leadership.

Anthony Ariganello
Donald Danbrook
Bernard Fahy
Frieda Granot

Terry LeBlanc
Scott McCloy
Edward Milligan
Gerald Price

Dianna Robertson
Thomas Romano
Roy Teather

Our thanks as well to Ricky Kwan and Lorraine Pitt, who recently completed their service on the Board.

And on the ground our SCI BC Team worked tirelessly to help people with spinal cord injuries adjust, adapt, thrive. Here they are—from A to Z:

And there’s more to our staff than meets the eye! Over half are people living with disabilities. And, between us all, we speak more than 10 languages.

Read our team bios and get in touch here.  

niversal design. 

What’s better than making something “accessible”? Making it usable by everyone right from the start.

When our head office in Vancouver was equipped with hands-free taps and paper towel dispensers, and accessible push bars in the elevator and at the doors, our staff and visitors rejoiced—and so did the seven other disability organizations that share the office space with us!


We lost a friend, but learned a big lesson in paying it forward.

When one of our long-time members passed away, his family donated his van to SCI BC. He’d been such a positive person and his family knew this gift would help others with spinal cord injuries. We were able to sell it to someone in great need of a van—and use the proceeds to support our Peer Program. It was a win-win for the entire community!

hite water rafting. 

(And a checkmark on that bucket list!)

Adventure? We’re there! Last summer, our Prince George members hit the Cariboo and Upper Quesnel Rivers for a day of camaraderie and courage. With Big Canyon Rafting safely accommodating our participants, and tireless volunteers acting as accessible-bus drivers, baby sitters and equipment managers, the stage was set for the main act: A wicked set of Class 4 rapids.


When we called Big Canyon Rafting to book again this year, they told us they’d purchased a new lift-equipped bus to shuttle clients. Now they can accommodate anyone with a disability!

 marked the spot!

…at Vancouver’s only accessible scavenger hunt: SCI BC’s Bus Stop Hop! On July 26, more than 50 people with disabilities, and their friends and families, joined our iconic race around the city.

Participants travelled from YVR International Airport to Lonsdale Quay and everywhere in between, becoming more comfortable with public transit, completing funny challenges along the way, and helping to break down some social barriers, too!



We couldn’t have done it without you.

 ero excuses. Zero limits. 

Between our Peer Program, Information Services, and Virtual Outreach, there’s little excuse for not getting connected, finding support, and being informed about how to live well with a spinal cord injury or related physical disability in BC.

We can hardly wait to see what next year will bring!


With 2015-16 behind us, the countdown is on to Spinal Cord Injury BC’s 60th anniversary!