Our aim at Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif) is simple & life-changing: to develop a biological treatment for spinal cord injury. We want to enable people with paralysis from SCI to enjoy everything that is so easy to take for granted: from walking to basic bladder, bowel and breathing functionality, sexual function and living independent lives. We are achieving this by funding a pioneering research project all the way from the laboratories of University College London to its clinical application at Wroclaw University Hospital.
There is currently no accepted cure for spinal cord injury. This is in part because, until recently, it was a widely held belief that reconnecting severed spinal cords was not possible. The work we fund is strongly challenging that belief.
The first patient, Darek Fidyka, underwent the innovative procedure in 2012 followed by intensive physiotherapy. Since then he has made truly remarkable progress. From a completely severed spinal cord with no movement or sensation below the injury site, Darek is now able to walk with a frame, ride a specially adapted tricycle and has marked improvement in bladder control and sexual function.
Since the first procedure, new innovations have been developed by the team at UCL to improve both the cell transplantation technique and the surgical procedure that will be used. We believe we are on the verge of changing the lives of millions globally. To do this we need to repeat the procedure in two more patients in order to test the validity and reliability of the technique. A cure is in sight but to reach it we need further support. Despite the breakthroughs receiving extensive coverage in well-respected scientific journals and the wider global media, our need for funding remains acute.
As a tiny organization without any government funding, operating in the wake of Covid-19, we face an uphill battle. Any support received is greatly appreciated by the nsif team and the scientists alike; from completing fundraising challenges, making donations or sharing our updates on social media. Funds raised go towards the research. We hope that one day a treatment will be available for those that have suffered, or will suffer, a spinal cord injury.
Welcome to the Hull and East Riding Branch of nsif!
nsif was founded by chef David Nicholls following an accident in which his son, Daniel, was left paralyzed from the neck down. Daniel had been standing in water between the safety flags on Bondi Beach, when he dived into an oncoming wave, hit an unseen sandbank and broke his neck.
There are 3 million people worldwide living with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Around 130,000 people join them every year. David was determined to do everything he could to see his son, and others living with spinal injury, walk again. Therefore he set up nsif.
Our involvement with the foundation began as a result of our eldest son contracting a virus on his spine which caused paralysis from the chest down. This was in the summer of 2007 and despite the doctors' assertion that he would never walk again, by showing absolute commitment to a rehabilitation and physiotherapy programme, his determination has seen him improve to the extent that he is now able to walk with sticks.
His efforts have proved to be an inspiration and we took up the challenge to raise awareness of and funding for nsif in this area, principally to support the groundbreaking research work of the late Professor Geoffrey Raisman, who worked tirelessly for many years towards providing a cure for spinal injury. In recent years that work was progressed in conjunction with Professor Li and Dr Li, based at UCL London, with the belief that a cure is now in reach.
We shall keep this website updated with details of our activities and we would be delighted if you were able to support our efforts in any way, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any comments, thoughts or ideas.
John & Angela Pye