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HeadNorth Partners with Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to Expand Peer & Family Support Program across Southern California

Peer & Family Support Program
HeadNorth

San Diego, CA (October 11, 2012) The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation today announced it has partnered with HeadNorth to help launch the Reeve Foundation's Peer & Family Support Program (PFSP) in the San Diego County region. The PFSP is a national peer-to-peer mentoring program that utilizes the real life experiences of those that are thriving while living with paralysis. By teaming with HeadNorth, which has been providing mentoring to individuals living with spinal cord injury since 2008, the Reeve Foundation hopes to expand mentoring across southern California.

The mission of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's PFSP is to provide critical emotional encouragement in addition to local and national information and resources to people living with paralysis, and their families and caregivers. Mentors empower people living with paralysis, including our service men and women, their families and caregivers, to achieve a healthy and full life. In the San Diego area, HeadNorth works to provide essential support and guidance to individuals affected by a spinal cord injury (SCI), while championing a cure for paralysis.

This program matches people seeking assistance with a Reeve Foundation Certified Mentor who will be of similar age, gender, level of injury, ethnicity and location when possible. A Reeve Foundation Peer Mentor will go through a specialized certification process that will include on-line work in advance of an on-site training. Throughout the process both the client and the Reeve Mentor will have access to all of the resources the Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center has to offer.

"We are incredibly excited about our partnership with HeadNorth and confident that together, this program will help to reach the broader paralysis community," said Joseph Canose, Senior Vice President, Quality of Life for the Reeve Foundation.

"This is a very exciting step in expanding and growing our current peer mentoring program," said Michele Bart, Executive Director for HeadNorth. "Our mentors to date have done a tremendous job helping to provide the first line of emotional support to individuals and families. This partnership only strengthens the power of their work, the support we give these dedicated volunteers, and HeadNorth's mission."

The Reeve Foundation and HeadNorth are actively recruiting new clients: people living with paralysis, family members and caregivers who are in need of guidance by a Certified Mentor. The benefits of talking to a Certified Mentor include a clear understanding of the realities of paralysis, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, confidence building and motivation, understanding of the science and progress in research of paralysis, how to avoid secondary conditions, and more.

For more information, please visit ChristopherReeve.org/peer or HeadNorth.org/peer-mentoring.php.

About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Award No. 1U59DD000838. For more information, please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.

About HeadNorth
Approximately 1,275,000 people in the U.S. have sustained traumatic spinal cord injuries, a little more than 100 new injuries a year are right here in San Diego County. Since 2006, HeadNorth has supported hundreds of spinal cord injury survivors in San Diego with community resource referral, peer support, and more than $450,000 in financial assistance. For more information about the programs and services of HeadNorth please visit HeadNorth.org or call (858) 350-5199. HeadNorth's mission is to provide essential support and guidance to individuals and families affected by a spinal cord injury (SCI), while championing a cure for paralysis.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders