Despite the challenges of 2020, U2FP continues to grow. The ongoing success of our initiatives, the deepening of our strategic partnerships with scientists, clinicians and industry leaders, and a demand from the SCI Community to bring our advocacy efforts to more states continue to push us forward.
In order to meet this demand in a strategic and sustainable way, we’ve added 2 new staff members and 3 new board members. We’re excited about all of them and wanted you to meet them as we move forward this year. Take a look!
Jason Stoffer - CAN Manager. Many of you already know Jason as the co-host of our CureCast podcast. Jason will now be coming alongside Jake Beckstrom to manage our Cure Advocacy Network activists in multiple states.
Jason Stoffer lives in the Rockies of Northwest Montana with his wife and three children. He has a B.S. degree in Natural Sciences/Biology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Jason's love of outdoor adventure led him to work and play there as a mountaineer, long distance hiker, wild-land firefighter, search and rescue technician, EMT, and Law Enforcement Officer. A single vehicle rollover on his commute to work one morning resulted in an L1 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and paraplegia. He has now turned his energies toward SCI cure advocacy and participates as a manager for the Cure Advocacy Network as well as continuing to host the CureCast podcast with Matthew.
As a bonus, here’s a cool documentary that NBC did on Jason that was recently released at the end of last year.
Lucia Webb - Operations Director. Lucia Webb (of Minneapolis, Minnesota), graduated from Carleton College in 2016 with a degree in Dance and American Studies. Since graduation, she has pursued a variety of professional and artistic endeavors. Most recently, she worked as Events Coordinator at First Universalist Church. Lucia is passionate about social justice and believes that a new, more equitable world is possible. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she loves swimming in lakes, backpacking, reading, and birdwatching. Lucia is excited to join the U2FP team, and is honored to work for such an important cause.
Quinn Brett. Quinn Brett grew up in New Hope, Minnesota. After graduating with a degree in Psychology and Leadership from the University of Minnesota she bee-lined to Estes Park, Colorado where she had visited as a youth and found her first outdoor industry job at the YMCA of the Rockies. Athletics and movement have always been a big part of Quinn's life, from running the Twin Cities Marathon, triathlons, ultra-runs and rock climbing. In 2008, Quinn returned to school to obtain a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology as well as a social studies secondary teaching certificate. Traveling and the mountain lifestyle led her away from teaching in a classroom setting, and instead she acquired her Emergency Medicine training and Search and Rescue Training. She got hired as a climbing ranger in RMNP in the summer months, educating visitors on Public Land use and rescuing visitors with everything from twisted ankles to life-threatening injuries in precarious places. In the winter months she taught Wilderness EMT courses and traveled on various climbing expeditions. Quinn has established new routes and speed records on mountains across the globe, as well as all over the American West. In 2017, Quinn took a large climbing fall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, sustaining a T11 ASIA A Spinal Cord Injury. Her love to move through outdoor wilderness space continues as does her passion for educating others on spinal cord injury and research. Follow Quinn on Instagram @quinndalina.
Johnnie Edwards. Johnnie Edwards (BA, JD) is a native of Birmingham, Alabama who now resides in the outskirts of Birmingham, in Helena, Alabama. She is the wife and Co-Pastor at Live By Faith Christian Center along with her husband, Pastor James Edwards. They have six adult children ranging from the ages of 35-21 years old. The youngest of the six suffered a paralyzing T6-7 injury in September of 2018. Dr. Edwards attends all Physical Therapy sessions with her son and is very involved in the healing process as his caretaker. Johnnie received her Bachelors from Faulkner University in Birmingham in Alabama and a Doctorate of Law from Birmingham School of Law. She is a published author and has been an advocate in the past for single mothers; Chair and founder of To the Polls To Vote and now is an advocate for the SCI community. Johnnie is very passionate about advocating for the SCI community.
Jim Hamer. Jim (of Germantown, MD) is the Director of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at DP Clinical, Inc., a full-service Contract Research Organization (CRO) based in Rockville, MD, specializing in SCI clinical trials. Jim has over 24 years of SCI research and clinical trial experience working with biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Jim started as a Clinical Research Associate in 1996 and monitored clinical trials in a variety of therapeutic area including chronic SCI studies. During this time, he also assisted in the management of the largest benchmark acute SCI clinical trial, the Sygen GM-1 Study. During his career, Jim has managed numerous acute chronic SCI clinical trials with pharmaceuticals, autologous macrophages, the fist in human sub-acute stem cell trials for Thoracic and Cervical SCI subjects as well as device studies. Additionally, Jim has worked with numerous KOLs in the SCI field and has developed lasting friendships with them. Having worked with these KOLs and companies on SCI clinical trials has broadened my experience, desire and passion to seek cures for the SCI community, chronic and acute. Jim understands the challenges of conducting SCI clinical trials and with his strong SCI knowledge he provides potential clients input on study design and assessments for their clinical trials. Working together to cure paralysis, Jim is hopeful that one day soon, he will witness a curative therapy approved for this debilitating injury.
This growth wouldn’t be possible without you! Your generous support - especially our monthly donors - has fueled U2FP’s growth. Thank you!