I am still buzzing about the
exciting research breakthrough that a paraplegic man, Rob Summers
(pictured here), is standing and taking steps. This is truly
unprecedented and hopeful news for everyone living with spinal cord
injuries and their families.
But this breakthrough
didn't happen overnight. This is
the result of 30 years of focused scientific research funded, in part,
by your contributions to the Christopher & Dana Reeve
Foundation and driven by so many of our supporters' unshakable belief
that we can find treatments and cures for paralysis.
Rob's extraordinary functional
recovery clearly demonstrates that we are on the right track
-- what scientists call "proof of concept." It is no longer a question
of if we will be able to significantly improve the function and
mobility of some people with spinal cord injuries,
but how soon. And that
ultimately comes down to the continued availability of research
The donations to the Reeve
Foundation from caring people like you made possible this historic
scientific breakthrough. But today I am asking you, Anthony, to
make a gift online of $50, $75 or whatever you can afford to help us
to keep this vital research moving forward.
25-years-old, was paralyzed below his chest as a result of a
hit-and-run car accident in 2006. Two years ago he volunteered for a
cutting-edge research project funded by the Reeve Foundation and the
National Institutes of Health. Among the 11 members of the research
team are Dr. Susan Harkema, Director of our NeuroRecovery Network, and
Dr. Reggie Edgerton, a member of our Science Advisory Council and
International Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury.
This stunning breakthrough is the
result of a combination of intense locomotor training and epidural
stimulation of Rob's lower spinal cord, which mimics the
signals his brain would normally send to initiate movement.
Rob is now able to stand under his
own power and bear his full weight for several minutes at a
time while his spinal cord is being stimmed. With the aid of a
harness, he can make repeated stepping motions on a treadmill. He can
also voluntarily move his toes, ankles, knees and hips.
This is an exciting moment for
everyone in our community, but it is only the beginning.
Dr. Harkema cautions
that "...we have a long road ahead" before the full potential of this
research can be realized in others who are living with spinal cord
But this is a critical moment, and
so much depends on your willingness to invest in this research
and the work of the other leading scientists funded by the Reeve
Foundation. The greater the resources you and I can deliver to these
brilliant researchers right now, the faster they can deliver the
treatments and cures that people living with paralysis urgently need.
That's why I hope you will show your support by donating online today.
tax-deductible gift will mean so much to the more than five million
Americans living with paralysis who today have real hope for fuller,
longer, more independent lives thanks to the Reeve Foundation and
caring partners like you.
We simply would not be here today
without the support of individuals like you. I hope you will
help in any way you can today.