Indianapolis (PRWEB) May 23, 2014
Former Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt has set his sights on a bold new mission: curing paralysis within the next decade.
To achieve this goal, Schmidt is refocusing the efforts of his 14-year-old foundation.
In 2000, he became a quadriplegic after a test-driving accident in Orlando and soon after launched the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.
Realizing that faster progress toward a cure for paralysis needs even greater focus and resources, Schmidt urged his board of directors to reimagine the foundation and its purpose. They created and are debuting a restructured foundation, Conquer Paralysis Now, to reflect this new sense of urgency and determination.
“We’ve done a lot of great things with the foundation in the last fourteen years, but ultimately there are still millions of people like me who are still in their chairs and it’s time to change that,” Schmidt said.
To accelerate research efforts, Conquer Paralysis Now will introduce the SCI Challenge later this year. This unprecedented challenge will aggressively incentivize research scientists and the business community to join forces in an unprecedented way and award significant cash prizes as specific milestones toward curing paralysis are met. To jumpstart the effort, Schmidt and his family are offering a substantial matching pledge.
“We will find a cure for paralysis within the next decade, if not sooner,” said Ida Cahill, president and CEO of Conquer Paralysis Now. “We have a plan and the commitment to make this happen. Through innovative funding and collaboration, we will drive research to help others be able to hug their children and loved ones once again.”
An important element of Conquer Paralysis Now will be a new website providing a centralized research platform for scientists from around the world to share both their successes and failures. By openly sharing failures, the risk of duplicating unsuccessful efforts will be diminished, driving progress in finding a cure even faster.
“Giant steps take great strength, courage and ingenuity. This is a tremendous step forward and will change the course of paralysis,” said Conquer Paralysis Now Medical Advisor Dr. John W. McDonald, neurologist, research scientist and director of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury.
The official unveiling of Conquer Paralysis Now will take place at the 15th annual Racing to Recovery Gala Saturday, May 24, 2014 at the Lucas Oil Estate in Carmel, Indiana.
About Conquer Paralysis Now
Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission to cure paralysis. The organization is leading the charge for a cure through funding scientific research, medical treatment and technological advances benefiting those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, stroke or diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's or in other ways.
For more information, visit conquerparalysisnow.com.
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