About The Reality Ride Challenge
Riding and walking for those who can't, Thomas E. Smith and Thomas E. Smith Foundation
advisor Teague Egan will be embarking upon the inaugural Reality Ride Challenge a 2,100-mile, 31-day trek from Boston to Miami. Tracing Thomas' path from his accident (Massachusetts) to recovery (The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in Miami, FL), the Reality Ride Challenge is a brutal test of physical endurance and mental fortitude. Thomas and Teague are set to leave Boston, MA on March 25, 2015!
As a beacon of hope for the paralysis community, Thomas is a living, breathing, walking example of how the world-class doctors, scientists, physical therapists, and nurses at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis improve the daily lives of those living with paralysis. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015 as the world’s most comprehensive paralysis facility, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Buoniconti Fund are the primary beneficiaries of the proceeds from the 2015 Reality Ride Challenge.
About The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti helped found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick's son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury (SCI) research center, and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The Miami Project’s international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 300 scientists, researchers, clinicians and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of spinal cord and brain injuries. Committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again, the Buoniconti family established The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in 1992, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting The Miami Project achieve its national and international goals.
This is an unbelievable time for The Buoniconti Fund, The Miami Project's research and for medical history. In late July 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to begin a revolutionary Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of transplanting human Schwann cells in patients with acute (recent) spinal cord injuries. Found mainly in the peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells are essential to sending appropriate electrical signals through the nervous system, and Miami Project scientists and supporters believe they are key to finding cures for paralysis. The Miami Project Physicians and researchers have enrolled the first participants in this Phase 1 clinical trial, part of the Christine E. Lynn Clinical Trials Initiative at The Miami Project. These first participants are doing well and the team is moving forward with the trial. In parallel to this acute study, The Miami Project has begun a human Schwann cell transplantation clinical trial in chronically injured individuals to test the safety of human Schwann cells. Never in the history of spinal cord injury research have the prospects of finding a cure for paralysis been better!