Tuesday, September 12, 2006 By Stephanie Esters
se@kalamazoogazette.com 388-8554

The trickle of a drop of sweat down your back.
The feathery touch of a shirt against a shoulder blade.
The breeze of wind in the hair on your arm.

These are things many people take for granted or don't even notice, but for 34-year-old Brian Culver they're the small things for which he's extremely grateful. Culver was left a quadriplegic after a 1994 accident and, in the years since, has regained the sensation to experience those small things.

The former firefighter and college athlete was critically injured in April 1994 when his car hit a parked semi-tractor trailer on Cork Street near the old General Motors plant. The crash shattered two vertebrae in his neck and injured his spinal cord, leaving him unable to use his ams and legs.

"From the time I saw what happened with my injury, I saw it as a challenge,'' said Culver, who said his family has helped in his rehabilitation.

"It made me stronger.''

"I am going to walk again,'' added Culver, who spent time in rehabilitating at the Miami Project in Florida and doing water therapy at Bronson Athletic Club. "A lot of exercise, a lot of work and discipline. I'm of the mindset if you're an athlete, you get hurt, you rehab.''

In fact, Culver and another man living with spinal cord injuries say their injuries actually served to make them both mentally and emotionally stronger and gave them new purpose in life.

Link: http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/...420.xml&coll=7