Grants Support Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), a comprehensive support program for people with paralysis, was awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar grant by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Effective as of July, the cooperative agreement between the two runs through June 2026, and includes an $8.7 million award for its first year. The PRC has been operated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for 19 years.

The PRC is said to be the sole national program that directly serves the estimated 5.4 million U.S. residents living with some form of paralysis. It services are free to those needing them.

In addition to people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the center serves stroke patients and those who have multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy. As ALS progresses, the body becomes progressively paralyzed, with patients experiencing difficulty in speaking, swallowing and, ultimately, breathing.

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PRC works in partnership with the ACL to counter social isolation while pursuing health parity and inclusion for patients and their families. It offers both information about disorders and accidents leading to paralysis, and a centralized space for practical and emotional support. These grants will expand the PRC’s offerings.

“It’s a privilege to work alongside ACL to deliver our promise to bring Today’s Care. Tomorrow’s Cure to our community,” Maggie Goldberg, president and COO of the Reeve Foundation, said in a press release.

“The PRC is the preeminent resource for anyone diagnosed with or living with paralysis, bringing care and information needed from the start of their journey through the day-to-day challenges of living an independent and fulfilling life,” Goldberg added. “Our services are here to help everyone impacted by paralysis navigate health issues, emotional well-being and, ultimately, to find new normalcy.”

Center services and resources include information specialists, who are usually the first PRC contact for newly injured or diagnosed patients. They can answer questions in 170 languages, and have counseled some 108,000 patients. The PRC’s 442-page Paralysis Resource Guide is widely used by hospitals and rehabilitation facilities nationwide, and available at no charge in either an electronic or hard-copy format.

Additional resources are the Peer & Family Support Program, a national network of over 470 certified mentors in 41 states providing peer-to-peer connections to patients and their families, and the Military & Veterans Program, where service members have access to dedicated support resources regardless of when they served or the cause of their paralysis.

Its Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit initiatives in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and has awarded more than $34 million to nearly 3,400 community efforts. In addition to funding other community-based activities, such as adaptive gardening, the program helps with employment training, transportation, abuse prevention, and finance management.

Virtual Support Groups to offset isolation through enhanced peer connection are another PRC program. These groups are led by professional facilitators and trained peer mentors living with paralysis.

Community education through webinars and other avenues is also available, and the center hosts an expansive resource library that has been translated into more than 12 languages.

“The PRC is such a vital resource for the paralysis community,” said Patricia Volland, chair of the PRC’s board’s quality of life committee. “Through its various programs, resources, and publications that serve the distinct needs of individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers, the PRC assists people with tools to live life to the fullest.”

“The PRC empowers millions of families impacted by paralysis to lead independent lives and fully participate in their communities. We are continuously appreciative for our partnership with ACL, Reeve advocates and members of Congress who support our mission and make this all possible,” Volland added.

The Reeve Foundation, which also supports research into treating paralysis and caring for affected people, was started by the actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in an accident in 1995, and his wife Dana. It opened the PRC as “the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide ‘Today’s Care’ and to strive for ‘Tomorrow’s Cure,'” the foundation states on a webpage.