My name is Timothy A. Gallant and I am a Navy veteran and college graduate. I am also a C5 quadriplegic after a car accident and poor hospital care left me with a 90% severed spinal cord. A few months ago, I began looking into ways to raise money to send myself to China to recieve stem cell treatments. It turns out that I am not a good candidate for treatment due to the fact that my injury occurred almost 10 years ago. This is what led me to my new mission. In April 2007, I incorporated The Gallant Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, Inc. as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Florida. GSCIF, Inc. will be dedicated to raising money to send US spinal cord injury victims overseas to recieve non-embryonic stem cell treatments. The following is a more detailed description of what our Foundation is all about:
The Gallant Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, Inc. exists to provide the capital necessary to send American spinal cord injury victims overseas for non-embryonic stem cell treatments that are currently unavailable in our country. Funding for these treatment trips will be secured through private donations matched by corporate partners. Awareness and fundraising will come from a mixture of mass media public relations, online grassroots campaigning, local auctions and benefits and sales revenue from donated items. Our mission will allow us to organically raise the issue of non-embryonic stem cell research in a way that will lay out all the facts for people to make their own decisions and, hopefully, see the enormous benefits available through non-embryonic stem cell research and treatments. 1.) Overseas Treatment
Our main goal is to raise the capital required to send as many spinal cord injury victims overseas for stem cell treatment as possible. We will initially send two patients to our selected host country, increasing this number as our budget allows. Capital for these treatment trips will be the main beneficiary of our fundraising efforts. Fundraising efforts will include: Private/ Corporate Donations, Benefit Concerts and Events, Sale/Raffles of Donated Merchandise. We intend to create strategic partnerships with numerous local and national organizations including local car/ boat dealers, regional grocers and national coffee houses. 2.) Public Awareness Campaigns
We feel that currently in the US there is a negative connotation surrounding all aspects of stem cell treatment as a result of the media attention given to the use of embryonic stem cells. The Gallant Spinal Cord Injury Foundation is committed to raising public awareness for the availability of stem cells from sources outside the embryo. We will work with other organizations to promote the use of stem cells from non embryonic sources. In addition, we will work to make the public more aware of the debilitating affects spinal cord injury victims have to deal with on a day to day basis and the beneficial treatments that stem cells will ultimately provide. These goals will be achieved through conventional media exposure, grassroots internet campaigns and legislative lobbying. 3.) Medical Staff Training Program
The third commitment of the GSCIF will be to create partnerships with US doctors and Hospitals/ Universities in our host country. This will allow US doctors to gain valuable knowledge and skills necessary to perform stem cell treatments in the US when legislation is ratified. By doing this, we will help ease the transition of approved stem cell treatment in the US. Ultimately, these doctors will work closely with the GSCIF in the States treating numerous spinal cord injury victims.