My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically.
I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories.
The Paralympic Games is about transforming our perception of the world.
Stem cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson's and motor neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway.