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Reeve Foundation FAQs

What is the mission of 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.

Is the Foundation a nonprofit organization?
Yes. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions made to it are fully tax-deductible. Download our 2009 Annual Report.

How do you raise money?
Contributions come from many sources: through individual donations, special events, foundation grants, and corporate donations.  Many of our donations come from smaller foundations started by a spinal cord injured individual’s family that funnel their local fundraising to us. The Paralysis Resource Center is a program of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation formed through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant/cooperative agreement number 1U59DD000338).

How can I make a donation?

How can I make a corporate matching gift?
Corporate matching gift programs can double, or even triple, your donation. Please consult with your employer for specific matching program details. Obtain a matching gift form, fill out and mail to our headquarters at 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills, NJ 07078. We’ll take care of the rest! 

How much money has the Foundation invested in research?
Since our inception, we have funded $80 million in research.

How much of my donated money actually goes towards your research or quality of life programs?
Since 2009, 82 percent of every dollar goes towards research, quality of life and public education program.

What is Team Reeve?
Team Reeve is the athletic fundraising program of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.  You can run a marathon (we are currently offering spots in Boston, New York, Chicago or Washington, DC); participate in a triathalon, create a team, bike a trail, swim, walk across the country – you name it to raise much-needed funds for our research and quality of life programs.

How can I volunteer?
We offer some volunteer and internship opportunities in our New Jersey office to people wishing to donate their time to our critical work.  Because we are a small office, it is impossible to accommodate all the enthusiastic people who want to give their time and energy to our cause. We also have intership opportunities.

Do you have chapters?
We have plans to strategically add chapters of the Reeve Foundation throughout the United States where there are clusters of individuals who want to get more involved in the Foundation’s activities. Already we have launched chapters in Arizona, Chicago, Utah, San Diego and Colorado and Connecticut with more on the way. The Reeve Foundation is a global brand and we are seeking to realize its full potential in communities across our nation. Find out how to get involved locally.

Will you help me plan an event?
We will do our best to help in everyway we can, but please understand our resources and time are limited. Send any fundraising questions or ideas you have to events@ChristoperReeve.org or apply online to organize an event for us.

Can I come to a fundraiser?
Almost all of our fundraisers are open to the general public and we make every effort possible to alert our supporters and others who might be interested in attending. Please know we are rarely able to offer free admission or to otherwise subsidize those who wish to attend.

Do you fund individuals?
The Reeve Foundation does not make grants to individuals, but the Information Specialists in our Paralysis Resource Center can direct you to other resources. Call 800-539-7309 and talk to an Information Specialist (Mon.-Fri., 9 am to 8 pm ET).

How long until we cure spinal cord injury paralysis?  How much money will it cost to find a cure?
Scientists are closer than ever to finding cures and treatments for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders.  However, there will not be a single discovery that allows us to fix the damaged spinal cord.  There will be different combinations of therapies based on whether an injury is acute or chronic, where it occurred on the spinal cord, what kind of damage was done, and many other factors.

It is impossible to predict exactly when or where the next scientific breakthrough will occur or how much it will cost, which is why the Reeve Foundation invests its dollars in a broad spectrum of research projects.  We are extremely optimistic because there is remarkable progress being made in laboratories around the world.  Scientists are beginning to understand exactly how the “normal” (uninjured) spinal cord looks and works.  They are learning what happens at the time of injury: how nerve cells die, and where they die above and below the injury site, and how to limit the extent of the initial damage.  They are also learning how to promote regeneration in chronic injury: how to overcome proteins in the central nervous system that inhibit nerve regrowth, how to guide regenerating axons to their appropriate targets on the far side of the lesion, and how to reform the circuits that will be necessary for functional recovery.

Our NeuroRecovery Network is a perfect example of basic science being translated to the clinic and changing lives. The Locomotor Training that NRN centers are now deploying is the result of research that the Reeve Foundation began supporting decades ago. This program, currently working with individuals who have incomplete cervical and thoracic injuries, involves suspending patients in harnesses over treadmills while therapists move their legs to simulate walking. Over 400 patients have enrolled in this therapy. Results vary from patient to patient and may include improved cardiovascular, pulmonary and bladder function, increased bone density and recovery of standing and stepping ability. We are literally seeing people wheel in and walk out.

Will stem cells offer a cure for spinal cord injury?
There is tremendous expectation for stem cell therapy; at this time, it's too soon to say just how or when stem cells from any source will be useful for the treatment of disease or trauma. More research for all types of stem cells is needed. Read more about the Foundation's human embryonic stem cell research.

What are the Quality of Life grants?
The Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life grants, awarded in 3 categories, Actively Achieving, Bridging Barriers, Caring and Coping, fund programs across the globe that help people with paralysis become more fully integrated members of society. Grants that support the health of people living with paralysis are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cooperative Agreement number U10/CCU220379).

What are your views on animal testing?
All researchers funded by the Reeve Foundation follow the guidelines established under the Animal Welfare Act.  This federal law contains the standards set for all aspects of care and experimentation on laboratory animals.  The Animal Welfare Act, enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture, assures that all research facilities are inspected on a regular basis for compliance.  The Act regulates the sale of lab animals, the treatment, handling, feeding, watering, sanitation and every aspect of veterinary care.

Does the Foundation endorse political candidates?
As a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, the Reeve Foundation is prohibited by IRS regulations to endorse, contribute to, work for, or otherwise support any candidate for office. While we are permitted to use a small percentage of resources to engage in issue-related political activities, we cannot, under any circumstances, participate in political activities associated with a particular candidate.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders