A few of the wonderful people raising funds for research to cure spinal cord injury.

Racing for Research lunch raises close to $15,000 for Project Edge

We are excited to announce that close to $15,000 was raised from our Inaugural Racing for Research lunch in support of Project Edge! The event co-hosted by SpinalCure and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia was held on 2nd September at the picturesque grounds of the Royal Randwick Racecourse and saw more than 100 guests frocking up in their best dresses and suits to attend the lunch.

Special Guest speaker Sam Bloom, attended the event and spoke about her spinal cord injury and hopes of recovery. Sam Bloom is the inspiration behind the award-winning book and soon to be feature film Penguin Bloom. Sam’s courageous spirit left many guests feeling motivated to get behind Project Edge. Thank you to Sam and Cam Bloom for gifting each guest at the lunch with a signed copy of Penguin Bloom.

Sam Bloom

Our wonderful line up of speakers also included Duncan Wallace, CEO of SpinalCure Australia and Susan Wood from Spinal Cord Injuries Australia

Duncan Wallace, CEO of SpinalCure Australia

Duncan, informed audiences about the latest on Project Edge and left guests excited to see that a cure for spinal cord injury is finally possible.

Susan Wood, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia

Susan Wood spoke about advances of assistive technology and how it has helped her. Susan’s speech highlighted how far assistive technology has come in the last 50 years and how much is still possible.

The lunch was an enjoyable experience as it brought together long-standing and passionate supporters of the spinal cord injury community and gave them a chance to  mingle with each other whilst enjoying a day at the races. Guests were entertained throughout by live-band, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and given a gourmet 2 Course BBQ lunch. Guests were also granted exclusive access to the members reserve and many got to witness the thrill of seeing Champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse, Winx, crossing the line to win the Chelmsford Stakes!

Our sincere gratitude to the Australian Turf Club for their help in organising the event and to the superb staff at Royal Randwick who ensured the day ran without a hitch.

Many thanks to our wonderful supporters who donated prizes for our raffle prize draw. Special mention to Gai Waterhouse Racing who kindly donated a money can’t buy experience of a Sunday at the Stables. Our friends at Popink who kindly donated numerous prizes for the day. A special thank you to Jonah photos, Synnex Australia, Brother, Samsonite, Rainbow and Clover, Mister Fly, Maui Jim, Navman, Choice, Hedgren and Rachel James for providing signed copies of her book Suddenly an Every Day Carer.

Finally, a sincere thank you to Wendy White, our MC for the day, our friends at Encapture photography and the talented Cristiana Fiorini, who captured all the joyful images of the day.

The lunch was a fantastic success with lots of fun, laughter and cheer! We look forward to growing the lunch next year and raising more funds to help in our quest for a cure. To help out with the event next year please contact [email protected]

See full event gallery

Second annual Lloyd’s trivia night a win for SCI research

Many thanks to our partners, Lloyd’s Australia, who held their second annual Trivia Night last week in support of SpinalCure and Project Edge.

With many glasses on wine consumed and many great prizes on offer, the Lloyd’s Australia Community dug deep and over $8300 was raised!

We’re sure a good percentage of this was derived from team members being ‘fined’ by Lloyd’s Regional Manager and Quiz Master Extraordinaire, Chris MacKinnon, for cheating and back-chatting!

All proceeds raised go toward helping to fund Project Edge, a new research collaboration at the UTS Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine that will bring ground-breaking neurostimulation work (the most promising emerging research field for spinal cord injury recovery) to Australia.

Thank you also to our fantastic sponsors and supporters, the Australian Turf Club, GWS Giants, Gai Waterhouse Racing, Penguin Bloom, and North Lodge (with thanks to Chris and Tina MacKinnon)!

If you have a great idea for a corporate or community fundraiser and want to support the quest for a cure, please email [email protected] or call 02 9356 832.

Project Edge gets a Spine Tingling boost thanks to an inspiring family and community

L to R: Andrew, Jodie, Margaret and Lud of the Kerec Family

Photos: Ashley St George

If you’ve ever wondered about the power of individual effort and community support – “how much difference can one person really make?”- this is a story for you!

SpinalCure was very pleased earlier this year to be named as a beneficiary of the inaugural ‘Spine Tingling Ride’.

We had, of course, never heard of The Spine Tingling Ride.

However, when we heard that Andrew Kerec was planning to ride 5,500 km across Australia from Canberra to Humpty Doo for Project Edge (alongside another, fantastic Canberra-based not-for-profit Hartley Lifecare), we thought he was a little bit crazy, but were naturally intrigued.

After speaking with Andrew, we found out that he had a deeply personal connection to the cause.

His father, Lud Kerec had suffered a spinal cord injury in 2010 while training for the Port Macquarie Ironman Triathlon event and was diagnosed with C5/C6 quadriplegia as a result.

Over time, Lud, Andrew and the family have come to adapt to this new ‘normal’ and have gone on to experience some spectacular adventures together, in spite of the devastating injury Lud suffered.

From this difficult event however, Andrew wanted to create some real positivity – by helping to support others who may be experiencing the same kind of difficulties they faced in the days, weeks and months after the injury and ultimately to help provide hope to those with a spinal cord injury by supporting some truly spine tingling research – Project Edge!

What unfolded over the months leading up to, during and after the ride was an awe-inspiring example of what one person, and the community surrounding them can do to make a difference.

SpinalCure CEO Duncan Wallace and EO Marketing and Partnerships Kate Retallack had the pleasure of attending the post-ride fundraising event in Canberra in mid-June, and what we experienced there was touching, humbling and inspiring.

Over 300 people packed Albert Hall to celebrate Andrew’s achievement, to rally around the cause and to skyrocket the fundraising effort even higher.

Many of these people had pledged, donated and supported the ride in someway already and many had contributed their services, or donated prizes to the event itself.

Everything was donated on the evening (and during the ride) – the hall space, the catering, every detail taken care of. And an incredible team of volunteers from Hartley Lifecare ensured it went off without a hitch.

As a result, Andrew, his family and the incredible community that surrounds them were able to raise an extraordinary $122,500.

This amount will be shared between Hartley Lifecare to support them in their vital work and SpinalCure Australia to directly benefit the Project Edge neurostimulation collaboration at UTS.

Andrew says of his experience

“It was such a privilege to be able to ride across our incredible country, supported by people that I love dearly and constantly inspired by their strength, unconditional love and resilience. I have no doubt I could not have completed this challenge without the sacrifice and support of my wife, Jodie and my man-wife Dougie!

A heartfelt thank you goes out to every person and organisation who helped to ensure the resounding success of the ride and event, and of course a very special thank you to Andrew and his family for their incredible effort and for choosing Project Edge as a beneficiary.

In these cases we often wish there was more that we could do to express our gratitude, words don’t feel like enough.

However, we know that the very best we can do is to ensure that the work that we are doing honours the work of people like Andrew Kerec, driving forward constantly towards the day when a spinal cord injury is not a life sentence.

We are that much closer thanks to the Spine Tingling Ride.

Inspired to get fundraising for spinal cord injury research?

Contact us today to find out how we can help you to reach your goals and maximise your fundraising efforts along the way.

Email [email protected] to arrange to speak with someone now.

Spine Tingling Ride post-event gallery

The Spine Tingling Ride

Spine Tingling RideFrom Canberra to Humpty Doo by bike – a Spine Tingling Ride to help others

In March of this year, Andrew Kerec will take on the punishing, self-titled and self-designed ‘Spine Tingling Ride’ – a 5,450 km solo journey across Australia by mountain bike to raise funds and awareness for Project Edge and other life-changing not-for-profits and initiatives including Hartley Life Care and Livable Housing Australia.

The ride connects two places near and dear to the hearts of the Kerec family.


A close call inspires an Ironman challenge

Chris Garey after completing NZ Ironman for spinal research18 months ago, a mountain bike accident left Andrew Garey with a broken neck and a hair’s breadth from life as a quadriplegic. With support from his family and friends, and a long hard rehab program, Andrew is now back on his feet — so much so that he and his brother Chris took on the Ironman NZ triathlon at Lake Taupo to raise funds for SpinalCure. After a superb effort Andrew had to pull out before the end, leaving Chris to finish the gruelling race. The brothers raised over $3,500 for research! Well done and thank you.

Pictured: Chris Garey after finishing the race.

Immi K’s Afternoon Tea

ImogenNine year-old Imogen has done an impressive job of raising funds for spinal cord injury research by hosting an afternoon tea.  Imogen is a dancer and can’t imagine not being able to do so. As the granddaughter of renowned SCI physician Prof. John Yeo, she is well aware of the devastating effects of spinal cord injury and decided to raise funds for SpinalCure to help get people dancing again. Thank you to Imogen, and everyone who attended her afternoon tea!

Our favourite feathered friend!

Penguin BloomThe new book “Penguin Bloom: The odd little bird who saved a family” is a true story of hope and courage. It begins with a shocking accident, in which our friend and mother of three, Sam Bloom, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed. Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. The book features Cameron Bloom’s exquisite photography and is written by New York Times Bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive. We are honoured that the Blooms, the author and the publisher are all donating 10% of their royalties to research!

Cam’s photo-journal of Penguin is a global Instagram sensation; see it here.

Get this inspiring book here

Running again… just!

Chris Barraclough and sonEarlier in the year Chris Barraclough had a close call with a spinal cord injury. He says, “I have never felt that kind of pain before and it took me … 2-3 months to be able to run without any pain.”  So Chris ran Perth’s City to Surf to raise funds for research. Many thanks Chris.