A Story of Commitment, Kindness, and Hope

It was almost two years since his accident—an accident in the course of which he became paraplegic. It was during the approach of this second year anniversary, while working as a bank teller in Barrie, Ontario, the young man met Barry Munro. Barry had come in to do some banking.

Like the young bank teller, Barry, too, had sustained a spinal cord injury. It was during a 1987 diving accident which resulted in quadriplegia. After the diving accident, Barry became an advocate for increased consumer focus and participation in the field of neurotrauma research. Because of the work Barry had done, the young teller recognized his name.

The young man began to talk with Barry about the problems and challenges he’d faced since the accident; and, he told him about a man he’d met who had helped him begin to get his life back on track. That man was David Baldwin.

The teller had taken a trip to visit a friend in Kingston, Ontario to try to get rehab in that city. It was there he met David. Also a paraplegic, David is a Peer Support worker for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCIO). David immediately lent him one of his wheelchairs because the young man didn’t yet have one—sadly, limited access to wheelchairs is still one of the huge problems with the system our society faces today—and, David began to mentor the young man right away.

Try to imagine for a moment how incredibly important talking to and learning from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through is to an individual who has suffered a spinal cord injury. This kind of Peer Support offers a great deal of comfort and hope during an extremely frightening and challenging time. The young paraplegic was just starting out on a very long journey and now he’d found hope through David Baldwin who became his incredible mentor and friend.

From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, and Bryan Rumble. From left, front row: Barry Munro, David Baldwin

From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, and Bryan Rumble. From left, front row: Barry Munro, David Baldwin

Barry Munro says it’s not the first time he has heard such stories about David Baldwin. In fact, he says David’s passion and benevolence is legendary. It’s because of David’s caring and kindness, that on December 5, 2013, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP presented David Baldwin with an award thanking him for his outstanding dedication and commitment to helping those get back on track after a spinal cord injury.

David Baldwin has been a long-term advocate for people with spinal cord injuries. His reach goes far beyond the community in which he resides. Think about it: Here we have a young man living in Barrie benefiting and receiving Peer Support from someone in Kingston. The impact David has on the lives of others is life-changing and long-lasting. Thank you David for making such a difference!

For more information about Peer Support and SCIO, please visit: http://www.sciontario.org.