Hector Picard and Kerry Gruson were each in their mid-20s when devastating events permanently changed their lives.
As a young reporter heading to Vietnam to cover the war in 1974, Gruson was interviewing a veteran Green Beret who had a flashback, mistook her for a Viet Cong and strangled her, leaving her quadriplegic and neurologically disabled.
Two decades later, Picard, an electrician, received 13,000 volts of electricity from a substation transformer, leaving him burned over nearly half his body and requiring the amputation of his entire right arm and half of his left one.
On July 2, the Sabrina Cohen Foundation will be opening an accessible beach to the public, funded by grants from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for all citizens of Miami Beach to come and enjoy. Sabrina Cohen, CEO & Founder, created the Foundation in 2006 a few years after sustaining a C3-5 level injury in a car accident at the age of 14. Originally she focused on funding research and educating the public, but then saw the array of needs she could help fill with her organization.
“Recognizing a need for quality-of-life initiatives, in 2012, I expanded the mission of my organization to include more adaptive fitness and recreational opportunities for our disabled community, realizing that a lot could be done to meet an unmet need of helping people stay both mentally and physically strong,” Sabrina said.
The FDA’s go-ahead makes The Miami Project’s clinical trial to aid against spinal cord injury the only one in the United States.
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis said Tuesday it has received federal approval to conduct “revolutionary” human trials to transplant a patient’s own Schwann cells, found mainly in the nervous system, to the site of recent spinal cord injuries in the hope that the trials may bring researchers closer to finding a cure for paralysis.