We help SCI Community advocates use their power as citizens to pass legislation in their home states that funds curative therapies for spinal cord injury.
With over $25M in state legislative funding as a result of lobbying efforts by CAN Activists from within the SCI Community - the tide is turning. We’re making our voices heard, and demanding to have a say in the research efforts that will affect us. We’ve passed Bills in Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania and Ohio - all within the last 7 years. We have groups of committed activists in Colorado and Wisconsin eager to follow suit.
Above: WI CAN advocate Mike Mohr gives testimony in April 2022 on behalf of our $3M SCI Research Grant bill before the Committee on Colleges and Universities.
Wisconsin CAN Advocates - Connect
- Accomplishments. Wisconsin advocates have been meeting and strategizing for several years. They initially secured a champion legislator in the person of Rep. Jimmy Anderson (who has an SCI). Back on July 25th, 2019 at a press conference, Jimmy formally introduced legislation proposing to fund SCI research based on our previous models of success. The bill has since gone through several revisions and we now have bi-partisan support that we hope will translate to a $3M SCI Research Grant bill OR an allocation in the Governor's proposed budget this coming year (2023).
Colorado CAN Advocates - Connect
- Accomplishments. Colorado advocates have been meeting with Rep. David Ortiz for almost two years and continue to meet and strategize around how to effectively introduce legislation.
Ohio CAN Advocates - $3,000,000
- Accomplishments. In July of 2019, CAN advocates in Ohio won a $3M earmark for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) research in Ohio’s higher education budget. Thanks to the support of our champion, Chancellor of Higher Education Randy Gardner and his connection to our advocates in Toledo, we have created another opportunity for our community to weigh in on what we fund and to what end.
Pennsylvania CAN Advocates - $1,000,000
- Accomplishments. Advocates in Pennsylvania successfully passed the $1M Pennsylvania Spinal Cord Disability Research Grant Act in October 2018. CAN activists had been organizing and meeting with legislators in late 2016. They had a Bill introduced in 2017 and were able to help push it through the House and Senate for successful passage on October 17th 2018.
Minnesota CAN Advocates - $6,000,000
- Accomplishments. In 2010, Matthew Rodreick - inspired by the U2FP's Science and Advocacy Symposium - initiated an effort to fund SCI Research in Minnesota. He solicited support from state politicians and invited the local SCI community to join the effort. Together, with engaged advocates, they formed the Get Up Stand Up 2 Cure Paralysis Foundation and passed legislation in 2015 allocating $1 million. A little over a year later, they advocated and added another $6 million to that amount. Matthew continued as Executive Director of GUSU until 2017. Minnesota’s success and continuing engagement have become a template for what U2FP is developing in other states.
Washington CAN Advocates - $800,000
- Accomplishments. Kate Willette and Bruce Hanson led the effort in Washington to pass the $800,000 appropriation to University of Washington’s Center for Sensori-Neuromotor Engineering in the spring of 2017. They continue to participate as community members on the advisory panel for grants.
If you want to join this burgeoning movement but your state isn't listed above - contact Matthew Rodreick today.
And everyone can invest in this movement by becoming a monthly donor or signing up to race and fundraise with Team U2FP.