On Our Minds


CRAB Regatta after rediscovering sailing

June 16, 2018
The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE, MD (The Baltimore Sun) – Dani Schirmer sailed as a youngster while spending summers on Traverse Bay in Michigan. Schirmer wasn’t sure if she would ever sail again after suffering a spinal cord a decade ago. However, the northern Virginia native got back out on the water last year by participating in a three day clinic conducted by Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating. Schirmer attended the clinic, sponsored by grant from Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and Disable Sports USA, accompanied by her father – an avid sailor. 

A hydrogel restores breathing after spinal cord injury in animal models

June 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA (EurekAlert!) – One of the most severe outcomes of spinal cord injury from car accidents, sports impacts, or other neck trauma, is losing the ability to control breathing, with patients often requiring artificial ventilation for the rest of their lives. Researchers at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) recently tested a hydrogel that releases a nerve-protecting agent at the site of injury, restoring independent breathing in rat models. 

Kessler Foundation partners with Motek to develop new rehabilitation treatments

May 29, 2018

EAST HANOVER, NJ (EurekAlert!) – Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, has partnered with Motek, a leader in virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation technologies, to develop new treatments to improve cognitive and motor impairments in individuals with disabilities. Mobility deficits due to disease, trauma, or aging, adversely affect a person’s quality of life. Specifically, the inability to adjust one’s gait to one’s environment – such as to maneuver a doorstep, puddle of water or other obstacles – leads to increased risk of falling. 

Challenged Athletes Foundation announces record breaking grant distribution of 2,806 individual grants across 95 different sports totaling over $4.3 million in support

April 17, 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA (Econotimes) – The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is proud to announce unprecedented financial support through its annual grant programs, which provide financial assistance for adaptive sports equipment, specialized running prosthetics, coaching, mentoring, travel and competition expenses for individuals with physical challenges of all ages and levels who wish to live active lifestyles and compete in sports. Through the 2018 distribution – the largest grant distribution to-date in the organization’s 25 year history – 2,806 individual grants in 40 countries are making it possible for individuals to achieve their athletic dreams across 95 sports from basketball to CrossFit and rock climbing. 

Gene therapy may help brain heal from stroke, other injuries

March 27, 2018

DALLAS, TX (EurekAlert!) – Scientists have found a genetic trigger that may improve the brain’s ability to heal from a range of debilitating conditions, from strokes to concussions and spinal cord injuries. A new study in mice from UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute shows that turning on a gene inside cells called astrocytes results in a smaller scar and potentially – a more effective recovery from injury. 

New Jersey Health Foundation funds stroke study by Kessler Foundation & Stevens Institute

March 21, 2018

EAST HANOVER, NJ (Infosurhoy) – Karen Nolan, PhD. senior research scientist in Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, will collaborate with Stevens Institute of Technology on a grant from New Jersey Health Foundation. With this $35,000 grant, investigators will develop and test the SAFE (Stevens Ankle-Foot Electromechanical) Orthosis, an adaptive oscillator-based assistive device with sensory stimulation to facilitate recovery of gait symmetry in stroke survivors. 


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