They say appeal letters should follow a strict format. Well, I’m a little unorthodox. I can only hope you have actually opened this letter and are reading what I have to say. As we head into 2015, October will mark the 20th anniversary of my injury. I could easily be depressed by this milestone, but, fortunately, for the first time since my injury, a clinical trial is taking place with results showing promise to significantly improve the quality of life for those of us living with paralysis.
In fact, the Travis Roy Foundation has pledged $425,000 over the next five years to fund one of the thirty-six participants selected for this clinical trial. For years we have been funding lab research, but it is incredibly exciting to finally fund a study involving real live human beings! I need to be careful not to overstate the expected outcomes of this trial, as they do not include the “walking cure” people envision when they think of curing paralysis. However, if the results equal the gains made by the first four participants, we will see significant improvements in bowel, bladder, and sexual function, as well as limited mobility. Having sat in a wheelchair for twenty years with no “breakthroughs”, these are very promising first steps for spinal cord injured survivor
In light of my 20th anniversary, the Travis Roy Foundation Board has set a goal to raise $2 million by the end of 2015. This will allowed us to not only expand our funding for research, but to also provide 200 adaptive equipment grants to SCI survivors. As excited as we are to see research come to fruition, we know there are thousands of spinal cord injured survivors who are desperate for the most basic equipment needs.
If you have been “rooting me on” for the past 20 years, you need to know I’ve felt your support and use it every day in my personal life, and in my work with the TRF. When my family and I established the Foundation nineteen years ago, we had no idea where it would take us. It is clear to me today, however, thanks to your support, that we are making a difference! I can’t thank you enough.
I look forward to the day when the work of the Foundation will no longer be necessary. Until then, I hope you will consider making a donation to this year’s Annual Appeal. Please take a minute to donate by clicking this link or send a check to: Travis Roy Foundation, c/o Hemenway & Barnes, 60 State Street, Boston, MA 02109.
Thank you for your time and consideration of “this appeal”.
~ Travis Roy