Conquer Paralysis Now Gala Raises Half a Million Dollars to Help Fund Cure for Paralysis
Researchers from 6 universities among those whose work has been incentivized through the CPN Challenge program
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 1, 2017) – This year’s Dancing to Recovery Gala to benefit Conquer Paralysis Now (CPN) set a record for the organization for a single event, generating $501,500 to help fund research to find a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI) paralysis.
The results were released by CPN (formerly the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation) for the 18th annual event held on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway famed museum.
“Having the event attached to the 101st running of the Indy 500, and in close proximity to the racing community, was a huge success,” says CPN Chairman of the Board Sam Schmidt. “I personally want to thank everyone for their generosity and belief in our ambitious goals. We are more determined than ever to find a cure for paralysis thanks to your support.”
Schmidt is a former IndyCar driver, now successful team owner, who was paralyzed in an accident at Walt Disney World Motor Speedway in 2000. That same year, he founded the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, which initially raised money to fund medical research and provide access to rehabilitation equipment and services to those in need.
In 2014, Schmidt announced a new name and a new mission for his foundation. Conquer Paralysis Now and the CPN Challenge were launched to find a cure for paralysis by driving the development of treatments for spinal cord injuries to help patients regain such every day functions as standing, reaching and grasping, and bowel and bladder control.
“Each year in May, the Indianapolis community and IndyCar drivers join together to support this important fundraiser with a goal to cure paralysis,” said Craig Williams, executive director of Conquer Paralysis Now. “We are very grateful to all of our supporters, including our primary Gala sponsors, Arrow Electronics and American Honda Motor Company. With their continued support, we are able to fund the efforts of researchers and scientists who are moving ever closer to significant breakthroughs in spinal cord injuries.”
Stage 1, Rounds 1 and 2 CPN Challenge prizes of $1.2 million have already been awarded to 14 researchers for their unconventional, disruptive approaches. One of the research grants awarded by CPN this past year was to one of the gala guests, Dr. Samy Meroueh, of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute at the Indiana University School of Medicine. CPN also awarded grants to Dr. Ann Parr and Dr. Michael McAlpine at the University of Minnesota collaborating with Dr. Susan Cerqueira, University of Miami. The $100,000 research grant was awarded as part of the CPN Challenge’s Lone Star Foundation Collaboration Award. Click here to learn more about the CPN Challenge.
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About Conquer Paralysis Now
Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to furthering advancements in spinal cord injury research and treatment. Backed by an international coalition of medical doctors, research scientists and business leaders, CPN is motivated by a singular goal of finding a cure for paralysis – that is, restoring important functions for those living with spinal cord injuries. For more information visit the CPN website at ConquerParalysisNow.org.