Accessibility Panel
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“I want to learn everything so I can live without a caregiver.”

by Scott Pope

Scott Pope with Eroni Katonibau

Scott Pope
with Eroni Katonibau

I was a 37 year old drummer in December of 2004. I was riding my bicycle in San Francisco when I got run over by a car and went through the window. I had it together enough to call my girlfriend, but after that I was out and woke up with a severed spine as a C7 quadriplegic.

I got referred to the Marin Center for Independent Living by my social worker at the Department of Health and Human Services and started talking to the staff there because several of them have similar issues to mine. Then I started to go to the peer support group they sponsor every week. We all went to see the movie Murderball and I have played several times since then with the local quad rugby team.

I needed a caregiver because it seems that the first one I had was possibly stealing money from me. The second guy I had couldn’t follow instructions, would show up late, and was not a career personal assistant. Then I used the Marin CIL Personal Assistant Registry and found a good guy. He has been with me since November of 2005. He is on time and he takes instruction really well and he does everything he is supposed to do. He is a nice guy and he is definitely helping me become more independent. I want to learn everything so I can live without a caregiver. I can get undressed by myself, but getting dressed is harder for me. He has been on the Marin CIL Personal Assistant Registry for nine years. It is good to be around others with shared experience. I find out how to do things from others who know.

I use a manual chair so I can use my muscles. The really exciting news is I got a van and pretty soon I will be finished with learning how to drive it. My personal assistant showed me how to take the busses because I had never done that in a wheelchair. It is easy. I am meeting next week with the Department of Rehabilitation and am looking forward to going back to work. I am thinking I could either be some kind of dispatcher or driver.