While there is currently no cure for paralysis, the treatment and rehabilitation available today can greatly improve the quality of life of those suffering from spinal cord injuries. Around 12,000 new cases occur in the United States each year with over a quarter of a million Americans already living with SCI. Living a normal life can be difficult but is far from impossible. These foundations offer grants that support the quadriplegic community. Funding provides the equipment and rehabilitation services needed by the injured. There is even a program that trains and places monkey service animals to assist those with mobility issues.
Cindy Donald Dreams of Recovery Foundation
In 2005, Cindy Donald suffered a spinal cord injury. Inspired by the tremendous amount of community support following her own accident, she started this foundation to help others. The foundation provides grants that pay for therapeutic exercise training and equipment for patients with paralysis conditions. Grants are available for up to $15,000 and are considered quarterly. Applications are accepted year round for patients of all ages. Review the foundation’s eligibility and application PDF for further details about the grant program and to learn how to apply for help.
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Started by the actor Christopher Reeve and his wife, this foundation has issued $16.6 million in grant funding since 1999 to organizations that work with people with paralysis conditions. While it does not offer grant support to individuals, its Quality of Life Grant Program funds non-profits that provide services to individuals. Grants are awarded for up to $25,000 in two funding rounds per year. Special consideration is given to programs serving wounded veterans and diverse communities. Annual deadlines for submission occur on March 1 and September 1.
Helping Hands Monkey Helpers
Helping Hands has been training and providing capuchin monkeys to serve as service animals for people suffering from spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairments since 1979. These monkeys not only offer companionship but assist with tasks around the house such as picking up dropped objects and opening bottles. The extra set of hands a monkey service animal provides can help a quadriplegic live a happier and more independent life. Helping Hands provides this service at no charge, paying for the extensive training, veterinary care and eventual retirement of the service animals.
Travis Roy Foundation
While this Boston-based foundation donates funding to medical research that looks into cures for spinal cord paralysis, it also provides individual grants to quadriplegics and paraplegics. Grant support is offered to purchase wheelchairs, ramps, lifts and other adaptive equipment that allow the grantees to live more normal lives. The average size of each grant is usually between $2,000 and $5,000. Funding is awarded quarterly in March, June, September and December. Its recent grant round saw these 22 grants totaling almost $100,000. For more information about the program and to apply for a grant, check out the foundation’s eligibility and application PDF.