I would like to personally thank you for a record breaking End of Financial Year. The SpinalCure team have loved reading your donation messages and it means the world to us that our supporter community recognise and support the work we are doing.
Looking back over the year, with thanks to your support, we were able to achieve some history-making milestones including lobbying the Federal Government resulting in the establishment of a neurostimulation research fund for SCI.
As you no doubt all know by now, SpinalCure has partnered with NeuRA, SCIA and CatWalk NZ in a five-year neurostimulation research program “Project Spark” where we believe we can develop the first treatments for people with SCI.
I am excited to announce that last week, the agreement for Project Spark’s first community study was signed. This means preliminary studies may commence and we expect to be treating people through NeuroMoves clinics as early as December potentially. Thanks to your EOFY donations, we were able to confidently kick off the program with funding for the first six months.
This first study seeks to improve upper limb, hand and respiratory function in quadriplegics. It will treat 75 people across three states and is vital data gathering for the scientists to validate and develop a therapy for mainstream distribution. Further details on how spinal injured Australians can sign up will follow in the next few months.
What will this new financial year bring? There is an enormous amount of work still to be done. One of our priorities is to engage the new government to ensure neurostimulation remains high on the federal funding agenda and we continue to fundraise for the first community study. There will be plenty of ways our community can get involved: signing up for a Project Spark clinical trial, hosting a fundraiser or writing to your Federal MP about Project Spark and its importance (details to follow).
Your support means the world to us and I love that the SCI community is pulling together to make this happen, including generous contributions from Forward Ability Support (formerly Paraquad NSW) and SCIA, as well as letters of support for our researchers from the Australian Jockeys Association, the AFL and Surf Life Saving Australia.
Before I sign off, I think it’s a good time to re-share our Founders video. SpinalCure was established 26 years ago by a lawyer and a PR specialist (both with SCI), and a neuroscientist. We recently took the opportunity to record their individual stories about why they started SpinalCure and their hopes for the research—it’s well worth the watch.
I am involved in the cause because I have a friend with a spinal injury and for her and everyone else affected by SCI, research is where the hope is at.
Best wishes and thank you,
Kathryn Borkovic, CEO