Speaker gets briefed before marathon fundraiser

18 October 2013

On Monday the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon David Carter, visited the Grafton Campus to meet with researchers from the Centre for Brain Research working on a project funded by the CatWalk Spinal Trust. The Speaker was here to learn more about a spinal repair project that is being conducted by Dr Simon O’Carroll in conjunction with Professor Louise Nicholson, and he was given a research briefing and a lab tour during his time here. The Speaker has committed to be part of the CatWalk Spinal Trust running team that will take part in the New York Marathon on Sunday 3 November, and was accompanied on his visit by another of the running team, Auckland-based Ashley Pryde. The visitors were informed about future plans for a specialist Spinal Cord Injury Research facility which will be based in the NeuroDiscovery Unit which was set up with the generous support of the Catwalk Trust.

The New York Marathon is but one of a large array of fundraising activities that sit behind the CatWalk Trust and its goal of helping to find a cure for Spinal Cord Injury. The Trust was established in 2005 by Catriona Williams, formerly one of New Zealand’s leading international equestrian riders who suffered a riding accident in 2002 and is now C6/C7 tetraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. Drawing on a huge network of friends, Williams and the CatWalk Trust have raised and maintained the profile of SCI in New Zealand where one debilitating spinal injury is suffered every five days. The Trust has been a strong and loyal supporter of the Brain Bee Challenge which it views as a great pathway for information on neurological disorders to be conveyed to the next generation of researchers.