Italian and UK charities work together to fund spinal cord injury research

In a joint effort to help fund a cure for spinal cord injury, Marina Romoli Onlus, a voluntary non-profit organisation based in Italy, has made a donation of €70,000 to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif), based in the UK.

Marina Romoli Onlus was founded in 2011 by Marina Romoli, a professional cyclist who was left paraplegic after a road accident during a training session in 2010. The non-profit organisation is dedicated to curing chronic SCI by supporting medical research and also helps young cyclicsts who, as Marina, have been left with a disability after an accident.

“I never stopped believing in a cure. As such a passionate cyclist, I can’t imagine life without sport and having to depend on others. Every day I undertake an intensive exercise regime but, unfortunately, this alone does not cure spinal cord injury and make me indepenedent,” says Marina.

“Numerous scientific studies have proven that the regeneration of the spinal cord is possible and so it is reasonable to think that it is no longer a matter of if, but when there will be a cure. Given that, it is so important to take immediate action for this to happen as soon as possible,” she added.

A documentary by the BBC Panorama last year called To Walk Again, which showcased the pioneering research funded by nsif, lead Marina and the board members of her organisation to review the related scientific publications and visit the UK-based charity in January 2015. As Marina Romoli Onlus targets and supports research where it sees the greatest chance of finding a cure for spinal cord injury, it found nsif to be a worthwhile candidate for the donation.

“We are incredibly grateful to Marina for this donation. We are at a crucial time currently with the research we are funding. Every donation is vital in helping the scientists turn their innovative work into a treatment for spinal cord injury,” said Mike Milner, CEO, nsif.

nsif is one of the funders of Professor Geoffrey Raisman FRS and his team at the UCL Institute of Neurology in the UK. It also funds the team of Dr. Pawel Tabakow in Poland. Dr. Tabakow is based at Wroclaw University Hospital.

About Marina Romoli Onlus 

Marina Romoli Association is a non-profit voluntary organisation that aims to fund research into a cure for spinal cord injury. The association was founded in 2011, after the road accident that in 2010 impacted the life of promising cyclist Marina Romoli. To promote its mission, the charity works closely with the cycling world, with a clear presence in “Giro d’Italia”, and is involved in various events and auctions throughout the year. It supports projects such as “Ciclismo Sicuro” and collaborates with other non-profit organisation to organise fundraising events.

About nsif

nsif is a charity devoted solely to research into treatment for spinal cord injury. It was set up by David Nicholls following an accident that left his son Daniel Nicholls paralysed at the age of 18.

It funds Professor Raisman, a pioneering neuroscientist based at the UCL Institute of Neurology. His research is co-funded by nsif and the UK Stem Cell Foundation. It also funds Dr. Pawel Tabakow, a leading surgeon at the neurosurgery department of Wroclaw University Hospital, who is translating Professor Raisman’s work into a clinical procedure.

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