Jon Zawislak
SCI Ambassador
Individual with SCI, TBI, and Burn Injury
Fun Facts

Jon enjoys any activity he can do outdoors in the woods, like hunting and fishing. He’s a car lover and a bit of a mechanic, having previously rebuilt a 1976 Corvette Stingray.

Jon's Journey with SCI

When Jon was eight years old, he experienced a snowmobiling accident that left him with an SCI. After being involved in an explosion later in life, Jon also suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple burns. In the early stages of his injuries, he had limited motor capabilities and other neurological issues began to arise. Jon uses his experiences with SCI, TBI, and burn injury to advocate for and support others in his Northern Michigan town. He has run for local office with plans to bring attention to these injuries and end the discrimination that is often accompanied by them.

Why does Jon want to be an MSKTC ambassador?

Passionate to support people with similar traumatic injury experiences, Jon felt it was only right became an ambassador to share MSKTC resources to help others. Having dealt with the many symptoms and life changes that come with these injuries, Jon wants to spread the word about SCI, TBI, and burn injury to help others that are dealing with similar situations. Jon has also experienced several instances of discrimination and judgement because of his injuries and believes sharing MSKTC resources will reduce stigma surrounding these conditions.

What has Jon done as an ambassador?

Jon has distributed MSKTC information brochures to groups in his community, such as firefighters, neighbors, as well as local hospitals and health departments and helped them adopt the MSKTC resources He has also recruited others to become ambassadors for the MSKTC to better support people living with traumatic injuries. He plans to arrange a meeting to discuss and share MSKTC resources with a behavioral health services organization in his area, hoping to reach more people that have experienced similar accidents and injuries. Jon also plans to provide MSKTC resources to his local pharmacist, as this a way many people receive information in more rural areas.