Ed Cummings supports petition to fund new spinal cord injury research

Ed Cummings supports petition to fund new spinal cord injury research

More than 20,000 Australians live with a spinal cord injury, and SpinalCure Australia, with support from Ed Cummings and the Australian Jockeys’ Association, have launched a petition calling on the Federal Government to fund a nation-wide research project that could transform lives starting as soon as this year.

“Anyone of any age can experience a spinal cord injury, but the risks involved with spinal injuries and horse racing, due to the speed the rider is travelling at and the height from which they fall, are unlike any other sport,” said Mr Cummings, a SpinalCure ambassador.

Ed Cummings kneeling between Sam Bloom in wheelchair and Lauren Park in wheelchair
Ed Cummings (middle) with Sam Bloom (subject of Penguin Bloom movie) and Lauren Parker, para triathlete and Paralympian.

Car accidents and falls are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, but they also occur at high rates in horse racing, rugby, rugby league and other sports.

“We’re calling on the public and sporting industries to get behind this potentially life-changing treatment by signing and sharing the petition,” said Mr Cummings.

“The old thinking around spinal cord injury was that once it was broken, it couldn’t be fixed or improved. The latest science is showing this isn’t necessarily the case.

“Nerves remain across the break for many, and this research technology aims to utilise these remaining nerves.

“A treatment for spinal injuries would provide much greater peace of mind to those involved in the sport,” said Mr Cummings.

SpinalCure’s research, conducted by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), is bringing an experimental technology called spinal cord neurostimulation to Australia. This technology, combined with intensive rehabilitation, has had success in studies overseas, with people with spinal cord injuries able to walk or use their hands for the first time since injury.

“There are so many devastating effects of spinal cord injuries that people don’t know about,” said Kathryn Borkovic, SpinalCure’s CEO.

“People lose bowel and bladder control, and the loss of hand and arm function has a huge impact on independence.

“Even small improvements could make a huge difference to people’s lives, and we believe this research has the most promise of changing people’s lives in the next 5 years,” said Ms Borkovic.

The research project, called Project Spark, could also help people with Parkinsons, cerebral palsy and people who have had a stroke.

“If you care about jockeys, know someone with a spinal injury or just care about improving people’s lives, please  sign the petition now at or go to,” said Mr Cummings.


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