United Paralysis Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit charity under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Our goal is to raise awareness, improve SCI victims quality of life but most importantly generate funds to enable scientists to find a viable cure for this horrible condition that affects millions.
UPF above all else focuses on the people who have been touched by spinal cord injury, whether personally or through a loved one. Co-Founder and CEO Hugo Fernandez expresses the true purpose of the foundations through the following letter.
A Letter from Hugo
How We Became Focused on Finding an SCI Cure
In 2008, my wife became ill with a condition labeled Transverse Myelitis and became a paraplegic literally overnight. The grueling months that followed shattered our lives. The impact this event had on her, our children, our family, careers, finances, etc. is literally indescribable. My wife went from being a type-A, career driven, supper-mom, everybody's best friend, can-do-it-all and life of the party to someone that now has a hard time getting out of bed and facing life. I watch her day in and day out struggle with serious physical limitations and and the emotional ups and downs associated with a serious chronic condition. Now, as a family, we are re-building our lives, life goes on.
SCI = Quiet Lives of Desperation
It turns out that she is not alone. We came in contact with hundreds of people with various level of SCI injuries while searching for answers at the numerous hospitals and rehab centers. While following doctors and experts advice to devote countless hours and resources (mostly not covered by insurance) in rehab centers, with therapists and doctors that have one common way of answering questions "We Don't Know". Throughout our daily lives, It is unusual to see individuals in wheelchairs not because they are not there but because most of these people live quiet lives of desperation. Unable or unwilling to get out of their houses to face the world. It is simply too difficult mentally and physically to do so.
Chronic SCI Pain
The chronic and neurological pain is poorly controlled by drugs with very undesirable side effects. Psychologically, the toll of being completely or partially dependent on other people for simple acts like eating, getting dressed or going to the bathroom is devastating. Thoughts of suicide are a common occurrence and a number of individuals end-up surrendering to their despair.
Scientists Believe They Can Cure SCI's
Through our search for answers/hope we found scientists working and researching cures for this insidious condition. The common thread among all of them is that the cure is likely around the corner but funding prevents them from moving faster in finding it. This is why we are joining the fight. Our goal is to raise enough monies to fund aggressive research with one goal in mind - FIND A CURE for SCI. Please join us, together we can make a world of difference for millions of people living quiet lives of desperation.