Italian and UK charities work together to fund spinal cord injury research
In a joint effort to help fund a cure for spinal cord injury, Marina Romoli Onlus, a voluntary non-profit organisation based in Italy, has made a donation of €70,000 to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif), based in the UK.
Marina Romoli Onlus was founded in 2011 by Marina Romoli, a professional cyclist who was left paraplegic after a road accident during a training session in 2010. The non-profit organisation is dedicated to curing chronic SCI by supporting medical research and also helps young cyclists who, as Marina, have been left with a disability after an accident.
“I never stopped believing in a cure. As such a passionate cyclist, I can’t imagine life without sport and having to depend on others. Every day I undertake an intensive exercise regime but, unfortunately, this alone does not cure spinal cord injury and make me independent” says Marina.
“Numerous scientific studies have proven that the regeneration of the spinal cord is possible and so it is reasonable to think that it is no longer a matter of if, but when there will be a cure. Given that, it is so important to take immediate action for this to happen as soon as possible” she added.
A documentary by BBC Panorama last year called To Walk Again, which showcased the pioneering research funded by nsif, led Marina and the board members of her organisation to review the related scientific publications and visit the UK-based charity in January 2015. As Marina Romoli Onlus targets and supports research where it sees the greatest chance of finding a cure for spinal cord injury, it found nsif to be a worthwhile candidate for the donation.
“We are incredibly grateful to Marina for this donation. We are at a crucial time currently with the research we are funding. Every donation is vital in helping the scientists turn their innovative work into a treatment for spinal cord injury” said Mike Milner, nsif CEO.
nsif is a charity devoted solely to research into treatment for spinal cord injury. It was set up by David Nicholls following an accident that left his son Daniel Nicholls paralysed at the age of 18.
It funds Professor Raisman, a pioneering neuroscientist based at the UCL Institute of Neurology. His research is co-funded by nsif and the UK Stem Cell Foundation. It also funds Dr Pawel Tabakow, a leading surgeon at the neurosurgery department of Wrocław University Hospital, who is translating Professor Raisman’s work into a clinical procedure.
For more information visit the website www.nsif.org.uk.