"Walk to Victory over Paralysis," a 24-hour fundraising event to rally support for the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN)

Short Hills, NJ (July 03, 2014) -- On the heels of an unprecedented research breakthrough, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will hold the inaugural "Walk to Victory over Paralysis," a 24-hour fundraising event to rally support for the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). The event will start in the morning on Saturday, July 19, 2014, and conclude on Sunday, July 20, 2014, with hundreds of participants logging miles on treadmills, including individuals living with paralysis.

Walk to Victory over Paralysis will be held simultaneously at eight rehabilitation centers and fitness and wellness facilities nationwide. In addition to the 24-hour walkathon, other sites in the NRN will also support the initiative through fundraising efforts. In total, the event aims to raise $330,000 with each center challenged to raise $30,000 respectively.

The Reeve Foundation NRN is a cooperative network of cutting-edge rehabilitation centers designed to develop and deliver therapies that promote functional recovery and improve the health and quality of life for people living with paralysis. Currently, there are 12 NRN sites with the Reeve Foundation working to expand to new locations as rapidly as possible.

"Activity-based therapy and exercise is essential for someone who has experienced a spinal cord injury," said Susan J. Harkema, PhD, NeuroRecovery Network Director for the Reeve Foundation, Director of Research at Frazier Rehab Institute, Professor and Rehabilitation Research Director at the University of Louisville Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and Owsley B. Frazier Chair in Clinical Rehabilitation Research. "We have so much more information today about recovery that is helping people lead healthier and more functional lives and improving their overall quality of life."

To demonstrate the importance and impact of the NRN, individuals living with a spinal cord injury will also participate with the assistance of a body weight support treadmill (BWST). BWST is part of locomotor training in which participants are supported by a harness and suspended over a treadmill, while specially trained therapists move their legs to simulate walking.

"There are close to six million Americans living with paralysis, many of whom could benefit from programs like the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network. Research tells us that locomotor training results in positive improvements, even for individuals who have been injured for some time," said Susan Howley, Executive Vice President of Research, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "Walk to Victory over Paralysis is raising awareness about the importance of exercise after paralysis and this event will help generate support to expand the NRN nationwide."

The NRN sites participating in a Walk to Victory over Paralysis include:

  • Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Craig Hospital (Englewood, CO)
  • Frazier Rehab Institute and Frazier Community Fitness and Wellness (Louisville, KY)
  • Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (West Orange, NJ)
  • Journey Forward (Canton, MA)
  • Magee Rehabilitation Hospital (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Neuroworx (South Jordan, UT)
  • NextSteps Chicago (Willow Springs, IL)
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus, OH)

With an ambitious goal set, Walk to Victory over Paralysis is a fundraising first for the Reeve Foundation to unite the multiple NRN centers across the nation. The NRN was first conceived by the late Christopher Reeve to develop therapies that improve the health and quality of life for people living with paralysis.

For more information about the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) and to donate to a Walk to Victory over Paralysis, please visit: ChristopherReeve.org/Victory2014.

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. For more information please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.