A coalition of researchers, hospitals and patients have officially launched their effort to restore a state-funded research fund to examine spinal-cord injuries, pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include $8.5 million for the fund in his budget proposal next week.
Gannett’s Albany Bureau last month examined the issues surrounding New York’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, which was created in 1998 and funded by a surcharge on traffic tickets. State law caps the fund at $8.5 million a year, but with the state in an economic crisis in 2010, the fund was swept to help cover the state’s bills.
Last year, Cuomo and the state Legislature restored $2 million to the fund. Now, advocates are pushing for the full amount.
“My father worked tirelessly to ensure that New York became the preeminent center for research to cure paralysis,” Matthew Reeve, son of the late actor Christopher Reeve, said in a statement. “I call on Governor Cuomo and the legislature to provide full funding for this program so that other New Yorkers living with paralysis can live to see the day that a cure is found.”
Among those involved in the effort: the Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Here’s the video launching the coalition, known as New Yorkers to Cure Paralysis: