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Cure Advocacy Network

Our national strategy to create a movement of SCI community activists

We all know change starts at home. And actually, it’s already started. 

Legislative Advocacy
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 Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Washington states, and now have groups of committed activists in Ohio and Wisconsin eager to follow suit

Ohio CAN Advocates - Connect

  • 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.

Wisconsin CAN Advocates - Connect

  • Accomplishments. Wisconsin advocates have been meeting and strategizing for the last 2 years. They've secured a champion legislator in the person of Rep. Jimmy Anderson (who has an SCI). And on July 25th, 2019 at a press conference, they formally introduced legislation proposing to establish $10 million in funding SCI research that is pursuant of functional recovery from paralysis. (Read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article here).

Pennsylvania CAN Advocates - Connect

  • 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.
  • Legislative Highlights:
    • The money stays in the state and creates a competitive process overseen by an Advisory Board who review the grants
    • 3 of the Advisory Board members must either have an SCI or be family members of someone with an SCI
    • The legislation prescribes an 8% threshold for indirect costs. Most big academic institutions in the US have between 50 - 60% indirect costs

Minnesota CAN Advocates - Connect

  • Accomplishments. In 2010, Matthew Rodreick - inspired by the Working 2 Walk 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 - Connect

  • 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. Fuel The Journey - we’ve got a lot of ground to cover and we can’t do it without you.