BRADLEY'S INCONTINENCE STORY
This former firefighter's life changed in an instant. Read about his struggle with incontinence and how he found support through NAFC to live a fuller and more independent life.
"I NEVER DREAMED SOMETHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ME. UNTIL IT DID."
The day the beam fell on Brad, he knew his life had changed, but he could never guess just how much.
He had been a firefighter all his adult life – heck, he had wanted to be one for as long as he could remember, so in a sense, he had been a firefighter all of his childhood, too. And he was a good one – recognized by his department for his professionalism, valued by his co-workers for his loyalty – but even good firefighters can have bad luck.
The lumber yard had been burning most of the morning and there were clear signs that the structure wouldn’t hold out for much longer. As the crew cleared out, the timbers gave way sooner than expected and a stray beam fell awkwardly, catching Brad unaware. By the time they had removed him from the scene, he knew he wasn’t going to be walking any time soon.
The diagnosis was even worse than that. He was paralyzed from the waist down – his spine had been cleanly and completely severed – and the prognosis was for a lifetime in a wheelchair.
Fortunately for Brad, there was a remarkable support network ready to help him get through things. Physicians and therapists and paraprofessionals were quickly mobilized to help him deal with so many of the challenges he faced – learning how to live with limited mobility, helping him manage the psychological trauma, preparing him for the ways that paralysis will impact his physical and emotional relationships.
But there was little support for one of his most basic challenges: Incontinence. Here was an issue that he had to deal with every day and every night, something that was both deeply personal and difficult to talk about, and Brad felt like he was on his own.
That is, until he turned to the NAFC. Our goal is to bring help and hope to people like Brad, and together, we were able to find the support he needed to live a fuller and more independent life. He never realized just how many resources were available to him – products, programs and people that offered meaningful solutions without shame and without stigma. He also discovered the growing community of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals who are active on the NAFC message boards, sharing their own experiences, offering insights and providing encouragement to others dealing with incontinence and related issues.
That’s what the NAFC is all about. We’re dedicated to serving as advocates for the people who need us the most, getting results where results might not seem possible. No one should have to live with a condition that can be treated, and we’re proud to have made a meaningful impact on thousands and thousands of lives.
But we can’t do it alone – in fact, it’s because of your generosity and the generosity of thousands of others like you that we’ve been able to make all the progress we have.
Please help us do even more by giving today. Your contribution is critically needed now, and it will help us continue to deliver solutions for so many people just like Brad. What’s even better is that even small gifts can make a big difference:
Thank you so much for all you’ve given our organization in the past. We’re confident that, with your continued generosity, we will be able to deliver real help and real hope to the many millions of people who live with incontinence every day.