Spinal Cord Development
District Chair: Glendell Appleford - Email
Lions Australia Spinal Cord Fellowship
In 2012 the worldwide search to find a cure for spinal cord injury will move a little quicker following the handover of $150,000 by Lions International President Wing-Kun Tam. In presenting a cheque to researchers at Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital. President Tam said he was proud Lions could make such a significant contribution.
"The opportunity to make this donation is the opportunity to create miracles," he said. "This research is beneficial to millions of people."
The donation has enabled St Vincent's to purchase a state-of-the-art digital virtual microscope, which will dramatically reduce the time researchers spend analysing slides. The photo below shows International President Tam with Dr Kathy Triainedes and Dr Stephen Livesey in the laboratory at St Vincent's.
The purpose of the Fellowship is to support StepAhead Australia in funding Australian scientists or clinicians to study the latest techniques that are being researched for the repair of spinal cord injury both within Australia and the USA.
The intent being that the knowledge and experience gained will be made available to the Australian public.
The funding will subsidise salaries and expenses including appropriate equipment deemed necessary to assist the research of the nominated Fellowship holders.
In 1999 the President of what is now StepAhead Australia (Dr George Owen), spoke at a local Lions Club meeting looking merely for financial support for his organisation.
He spoke of the disturbing statistics that put 1 Australian a day into a wheelchair suffering from either paraplegia or quadraplegia.
Most of these unfortunate people are young and suffer their injuries from swimming hole accidents, sporting injuries and car crashes.
Their injuries currently confine them to a life of pain and constant dependence on others to allow them to enjoy the basics of life ... in most Third World countries this type of injury usually results in death.
Lions were so impressed by the goals of StepAhead - "to get the paralysed to walk again" - that they took on the task of financially supporting the organisation. Currently the "Spinal Cord Fellowship" is a Category B project of Lions Australia.
StepAhead has entered into a partnership with the University of Melbourne and Melbourne's St. Vincent's Hospital to set up a dedicated spinal cord research laboratory.
Lions Spinal Cord Fellowship supports the research being conducted by StepAhead Australia aimed at finding a cure for chronic spinal cord injury.
More information on the progress of the research can be found at www.stepahead.org.au
For Further Information
Win Tyquin Award
Every donation of $500 or more qualifies a Lions Club for a Win Tyquin Award. A donation of $1,000 entitles the club to 2 awards, and so on.
(Information on this page from Lions Australia website)