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U2FP's Blog > Keeping you current on the movement to cure paralysis

Stakeholder Highlight: SCI Advocacy - Working 2 Walk 2020

The virtual Working 2 Walk Science and Advocacy Symposium is coming up fast. Hopefully you’ve decided to join us. Lots of folks have already signed up but there’s no limit on attendance this year, so join us by registering here.

To all of our clinician partners: we really need you to join in the conversation around accelerating curative therapies for SCI. Your perspective and input is invaluable to the conversations we're planning. Which is why we’re offering 10.25 CME’s from the University of Utah School of Medicine (thanks to our Elite Sponsor the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation) to encourage your participation. You can find all the specific information on our website here. Just select the "Continuing Medical Education (CME) Registration" option when you register.


We are continuing to feature each of our 5 key stakeholder sessions:

  • Clinical Research (in humans)
  • SCI Community Advocacy and Activism
  • Scientific Research (in the lab or animals)
  • Funding Agencies & Organizations
  • Industry / Biotech

Today we want to talk about the SCI Advocacy Session (You can read the summary of the clinical research session from the last newsletter here). Attendees will hear from 3 individuals from the SCI community - from 3 different parts of the world - about how they see the problem of spinal cord injury, how they are addressing it, and where they believe we need to go.

We have organized this session to reflect the varied perspectives from within the community who live with the injury. Some believe that there is no “SCI community” because the perspectives, experiences and desires are so varied that they present too difficult a challenge for cultivating a cohesive vision.

At U2FP we believe that uniting and empowering the voices of people with an SCI can deliver the community we need to realize curative interventions. These 3 presenters will talk about how they’re working with various stakeholders to achieve our shared goals.

The SCI Advocacy Session will include three presentations with a panel discussion and question and answer session at the end.

  • Perry Cross | Founder and Executive Director, Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation (Australia)
    The Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation was started 10 years ago and aims to facilitate, collaborate and initiate the connections and research required to find a cure for paralysis. Perry will discuss the Foundation’s support and funding for The Spinal Injury Project (SIP) based at the Menzies Health Institute Queensland and the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University. He will discuss their focus on advancing cell therapies that can be used in combination with other technologies such as electrical stimulation, bionics and rehabilitation. Check out this CureCast podcast we did with Perry awhile back.


  • Corinne Jeanmaire | Founder, endParalysis Foundation (Netherlands)
    The endParalysis Foundation was founded in 2014 and has been strategically funding science and collaborating with various stakeholders since. Corinne will review the individual approach taken by endParalysis with respect to research project selection and funding. She will also discuss important macro level initiatives that require a collaborative effort by all key stakeholders and could advance research much further. She will place a particular focus on the importance of adopting goal driven, integrative and disruptive strategies to bring us closer to Cure. Check out this recent blog post our SAB Director, Sam Maddox, did on endParalysis Foundation successful funding of a gene therapy study out of the Blackmore Lab.
  • Kim Anderson, PhD | President, North American SCI Consortium; Director, Northeast Ohio Regional SCI Model System - MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute; Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (United States)
    Dr. Anderson will discuss the recent (2018) formation of The North American SCI Consortium (NASCIC) as an organization developed by the community and for the community through grassroots efforts. She will provide an overview of the consortium, its purpose, recent accomplishments and goals for the future. All of which is rooted in the effort to understand and bring voice to the diverse community living with SCI, and using that voice to guide the strategy at all stages.

We look forward to the provocative conversations that will spring from these presentations. Please join us and bring your questions.


Though our Early Bird Discounts have ended, there are still deep discounts available (75%!) for Individuals with an SCI, their families and caregivers. We already have a record number of individuals from the SCI Community joining us. We're excited to see how this year's Virtual Symposium expands access and accelerates the conversation and action toward cures.

Don't forget - there's still time to sponsor Working 2 Walk's Virtual Symposium. With discounted sponsor rates and a virtual exhibit platform that offers video, live chat and downloadable brochure options, don't miss this great opportunity to increase your market reach nationally and internationally, all while supporting a cutting-edge conference. Download our Sponsor Agreement here!