It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

First of all, thanks to everyone who supported the effort to get AB 190 passed in California.  I’m happy to report that the committee voted 4-2 in favor of the bill; for a comprehensive analysis of the proceedings (and an insight to advocacy in action) see Don Reed’s blog here.

When Unite 2 Fight Paralysis defined its mission to educate and advocate for curative therapies, we heard the quote from many quarters, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  This warning is unlikely to daunt anyone who lives with a spinal cord injury.  As we know, not only do you lose physical abilities with SCI, you also lose TIME.  Just getting up and out the door in the morning is a marathon.

Our first couple years felt like the first couple miles of a marathon.  If you’ve ever done one, when you start out the finish line seems a long ways away.  Back in 2006 and 2007, the research reports we were hearing at Working 2 Walk were mostly about basic science and the lack of any real promising therapies in the lab for spinal cord injury.  Attendees from the SCI community felt discouraged.

Team U2FP at the 2010 Finish Line - Click on the picture to support our 2011 Team

Gradually, though, the reports became more promising.  The world of stem cell research took off.  Scientists began solving some of the neurological puzzles on a molecular level, and translating their findings to potential therapies.  Science is moving out of the lab and into clinical trials.  We’ve got a couple miles under our belt now and are picking up momentum.

Just like the U2FP team that is walking in the Seattle half-marathon, we’ll go faster and have more fun if we advocate TOGETHER.  Research scientists, investors, practitioners, and community advocates must investigate, question each other, strategize, collaborate, and most importantly unite in order to reach the ultimate finish line – a cure for paralysis.

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One Response to “It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint”

  1. diverdonreed Says:

    Unite2fightparalysis is a continuing and reliable combatant in the war against paralysis. Thank you sooooo much for your support of AB 190, which would provide continuing funding for the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act in California.

    Right now, our bill is “in suspense” in the appropriations committee, and we will be trying hard to influence the 17 members of that committee to let it move forward. Roman and I will be going to Sacramento this Wednesday, and will post a major update after that.

    Stay with us– if we win, it could mean $11 million a year specifically targeted for spinal cord injury research for cure.


    Don C. Reed


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