Voice of the Cure – A U2FP Vision

What is the Cure – Defining the Vision

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis uses the tagline, “Voice of the Cure”.  What does the word “cure” mean to us?   Our vision of a cure includes:

1. Restoration of one’s fully functional and healthy body, including relief from pain and spasms, return of bowel, bladder and sexual function, and recovery of normal sensation in addition to motor control.  Once cured a person should be able to live independently, free of assistive devices, caregivers, catheters, etc.

2. Belief that curative therapies will come in stages, and support for advancing research into each stage as it becomes more promising.

3. Understanding that recovery will come through combinations of therapies that may vary just as much as the nature of spinal cord injuries.  To this end we promote and support collaborations amongst scientists, investors, advocates, clinicians, and regulatory agencies.

4. Commitment over the long term to successive stages of recovery, refusing to be satisfied until all bodily functions are restored.

What is the Cure – Navigating the Vision

U2FP fights for a cure for the invisible ones, the severely disabled, the families who support them, and everyone who believes that it’s possible, and more importantly urgent, to restore health and opportunity to these compromised lives.

A cure does not mean that a person receives a “magic potion” injection one day and is up and running around the next. We know that after any kind of intervention to stimulate regeneration, extensive rehabilitation will be required to properly connect the motor and sensory pathways and restore function.

Let us never forget about those with complete injuries and little or no return, those who cannot use their hands and hence live independently, those who have no family support and are shuffled off to nursing homes, those on ventilators who require 24/7 assistance, those who do not have the time and/or money to spend the hours necessary to maximize recovery.

We don’t want to start a “pity party”, but we do want to increase awareness of these realities. Decision-makers need to understand that paralysis is a progressive and burdensome condition, that research science shows great promise and needs financial support, that restoring function will save millions of dollars for SCI survivors, their families, and society.