Over the years I have received countless phone calls from families and people who have unfortunately sustained a spinal cord injury. The calls are emotional and full of pain, fear and uncertainty. We talk about how to make things easier with care, travel and the basics in life and we also talk about the very difficult physiological impact paralysis has.
The trauma of the injury, the isolation of being in hospital often away from home, the emotional roller coaster of those around you and the discomfort of accepting care. We grieve together and discuss the loss of control and the fear of the future. More and more people across Australia are struggling to come to terms with their injury and the devastation that it causes. The calls I receive are truly heartbreaking and I can understand why, because I live it every day.
Spinal injury puts incredible pressure on people living with the injury and sometimes that impact can be felt even harder by family members, often it is the family members that need the most support. As someone that has lived with a spinal cord injury for 25 years, I am more than happy to support as many people and families as I can, in fact it is a privilege, but the truth is we are all desperate for a cure. This is why the Foundation is so focused on supporting the Spinal Injury Project at Griffith University.
With your support over the years, we are inching closer to our goal of a cure for paralysis. Just recently an important milestone was reached when an independent contract research organisation (CRO) was appointed by Griffith University to progress the human clinical trial in 2020. There has also been a major break-through in the lab, which involved getting the 3D nerve bridges to integrate successfully into the injured spinal cord which then helps the nerve cells to grow across the injury site.
The progression of the human trial depends on future funding. My team at the Foundation are working tirelessly to continue to raise funds for this ground-breaking research. To continue the push for a cure, we need your help. You don’t have to run a marathon, or even break a sweat, just drink all your beverages through a straw and fundraise from September 16th to September 22nd for our annual SIP Week event.
With your help we have made great progress but there is still so much to do. Too many families are suffering through this trauma.
Are you with me?
PS: You can read more about the research update in the attached document here.