Symposium aims to accelerate progress in spinal cord rehab

It’s been nearly six years since Jason Stoffer was partially paralyzed in a single vehicle rollover crash in Montana.

As he reflects years later, Stoffer now understands how many things a spinal cord injury can take away, "You have a loss of bowel function, bladder function, sexual function, excruciating neuropathic pain," Stoffer explained. 

On Saturday, he took part in the Unite 2 Fight Paralysis Science and Advocacy Symposium, an event intended to help him, and others recover some of those losses.

Organizer Matthew Rodreick invited scientists, clinicians and donors to collaborate directly with the people who understand these injuries the most, and have the most to gain from treatment.

"This is a very different meeting where our focus is the people who are closest to the problem," Rodreick said. "This is one of the very few that is curated, hosted, moderated by the spinal cord injury community."

With so many stakeholders under the same roof to offer their opinions — and their concerns — participants believed the symposium will expedite their work to make spinal cord rehab more impactful in the future.

Rodreick says current solutions include spinal cord stimulation and regenerative therapies.