The Todd Crawford Foundation was started with the purpose of raising money and awareness for spinal cord injury (SCI) research. We have raised over $75,000 with help from our supporters.
It is estimated that there are 450,000 people living with SCI just in the United States. These types of injuries were once considered permanent. However, recent advances in neuroscience have completely overturned the once hopeless view on functional recovery. Science is discovering new spinal cord repair methods that may one day completely repair damage caused by SCI.
One research group that has contributed tremendously to this advancement is the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) located here in Louisville. Since we believe so adamantly in the KSCIRC, we will direct much of our efforts to support their research. We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations and entry fees are tax deductible.
Please stay involved and thanks for the support!
SCI RESEARCH PROGRAMS WE SUPPORT
THE TODD CRAWFORD FOUNDATION WAS STARTED WITH THE PURPOSE OF RAISING MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY (SCI) RESEARCH. WE HAVE RAISED OVER $80,000 WITH HELP FROM OUR DONORS. WE HAVE BEEN GIVING AN ANNUAL GIFT TO THE KENTUCKY SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH CENTER SINCE WE BEGAN THE FOUNDATION IN 2008. OUR FUNDS HAVE HELPED SUPPORT SUMMER GRANTS FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO WORK IN KSCIRC’S LABS, PURCHASE EQUIPMENT, AND FUND THE EVER IMPORTANT RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM.
Crawford Kids & Crawford Scholars
The Todd Crawford Foundation has established a fund to support Crawford Kids and Crawford Scholars.
- Crawford Kids are young children with spinal cord injury. The Crawford Foundation provides additional financial help for families to support their child’s participation in annual follow-up evaluations in research and booster locomotor training sessions.
- Crawford Scholars are Physical Therapy, Graduate, Medical or Undergraduate Students who will be supported for research fellowships with the Pediatric NeuroRecovery laboratory.
We are excited about the possibilities that this support will enable. Establishment of long-term evaluations with complementary experimental assessments of children with paralysis throughout their childhood and adolescence are critical to determining the effects of activity-based therapies on a child’s growth and development, prevention of bony and musculoskeletal deformities, and a new trajectory of outcomes for children with paralysis.
The first Crawford Kid is Luke Adams. Luke suffered transverse myelitis at 5 months of age leaving him with partial function of his arms and hands and paralysis from his chest and below. He entered the Kids Step Study at age 3 ½ years and was unable to sit, stand, or step. He could not sit without using his arms to hold himself up. He used a wheeled stander to give him mobility in his home and parents’ farm. Since being injured at such a very young age, Luke had never developed the ability to sit, stand, or walk. The Kids Step Study examined the effect of locomotor training in children with severe SCI and deemed non-ambulatory. Following extensive locomotor training, daily, 1.5 hours/day, and over 150 sessions, Luke was able to sit using his trunk muscles (no arm support), stand with a walker, and walk using a walker. Luke first learned to play baseball while on the treadmill; took some of his first steps “running the bases” in the clinic, and today plays catch with his brother.
As a Crawford Kid, Luke will be coming this summer for four weeks to the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and the University of Louisville – Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery. He will undergo a comprehensive evaluation with both clinical tests and experimental assessments examining his balance; muscle activation during sitting, balance, and walking; and respiratory function. We are particularly interested in the impact of his musculoskeletal growth on his ability to function. We will also monitor him for scoliosis and hip subluxation; events which occur often in children injured under 5 years of age. Luke will also receive 20 sessions of locomotor training as a booster program and allowing researchers to assess and improve his function.
Dr. Andrea Behrman (Professor, University of Louisville, Department of Neurological Surgery and KSCIRC, Director of the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery) pioneered research and clinical application of locomotor training to the pediatric population after SCI.
During locomotor training, the child is suspended in a harness over a treadmill and facilitated by therapists to step and stand with the timing and movements similar to those used prior to injury or that are age-appropriate, i.e. “train like you walk”. LT is an intensive, activity-based therapy designed to activate the spinal cord below the level of a SCI and restore function in weak or paralyzed muscles. Specific sensory cues are used along with a body weight support system on a treadmill to activate age-expected movement patterns for standing, walking and trunk control. Newly developed motor skills are then applied to the child’s everyday activities (off the treadmill). This is in stark contrast to traditional approaches, such as the primary use of wheelchairs, braces, and assistive devices, which focus on compensation for injury-induced weakness and paralysis. Locomotor training has great promise as a therapeutic intervention to advance recovery in children with SCI by activating the neuromuscular system below the level of the injury.
Dr. Dena Howland (Associate Professor, University of Louisville, Department of Neurological Surgery and KSCIRC) is the Scientific Director of the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery and will be integral to leading Luke’s experimental assessments. Shelley Trimble, PT, is the Translational Research Pediatric PT for the Center and will lead the locomotor training sessions for Luke this summer.
Help us keep this great program going, DONATE HERE!
More pictures of Luke at work!
The Center was opened in 2001 and is located in the Medical Dental Research Building close to the three major Hospitals of the University of Louisville Health Science Center. KSCIRC is led by Scientific Director Scott R. Whittemore, Ph.D., who is committed to further developing it into a world-class scientific and clinical Research Center. Our Center is one of twelve spinal cord injury research centers in the United States. It is in a unique position to conduct research that, through our close association with our clinical colleagues in the Department of Neurological Surgery, we expect will ultimately lead to effective treatments for spinal cord injury. This goal is guided by our mission: “to develop successful spinal cord repair strategies in the laboratory that can be taken to the clinic in a timely and responsible fashion”.
JUST A FEW EXCITING AREAS OF RESEARCH BEING INVESTIGATED AT THE KSCIRC INCLUDE:
- Preventing neuronal and axonal loss after spinal injury
- Promoting regeneration of functioning sensory and motor pathways after spinal cord injury
- Characterizing and reconstructing the neural circuitry that controls locomotion
- Neural stem cells and their precursors for repair strategies
- Modulating chemical signaling pathways that control cell survival and cell death
- Discovering molecules that regulate spinal cord development
- Developing acute surgical approaches to spinal cord repair
- Novel imaging methods in acute human spinal cord injury