Thursday April 15 6:21 PM ET
NEW YORK, Apr 15 (Reuters Health) --
The Christopher Reeve Foundation announced on Wednesday that it has merged with the American Paralysis Association.
The merged entity will operate under the name of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF), with Christopher Reeve as chairman of the board. The merged organization will raise and target funds for research and development of treatments for paralysis, spinal cord injury, and other nervous system disorders. The CRPF will also support programs that improve the quality of life for disabled individuals.
The Christopher Reeve Foundation will infuse the new organization with $1 million immediately.
Mitchell R. Stoller, president of the merged foundation and former president of the American Paralysis Association, said, "Christopher Reeve has completely changed the landscape for spinal cord injury visibility and research. His drive, determination and strength exemplify the ideals of the CRPF and I look forward to continuing our relationship in the fight to find a cure."
Christopher Reeve testified before Congress on Wednesday to request increased funding levels for the National Institutes of Health.
An estimated 250,000 Americans have spinal cord injuries, with 47% paralyzed in all four limbs (quadriplegia). According to a statement issued by the CRPF, "Each year, another 11,000 patients are added to this list, resulting in billions of dollars of long-term care costs for disabled Americans." Individuals with spinal cord injury live for an average of 40 years after injury.
More information on the CRPF is available at their website, http://www.paralysis.org.