Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) and Representative Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) are teaming up with Sen. Hayden’s constituents, Matthew and Gabe Rodreick, and the Jablonski family to create a research grant program aimed at creating new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. The “Jablonski/Rodreick spinal cord and traumatic brain injury grant program” will be introduced this week.
“More than 10,000 Minnesotans sustain traumatic brain injuries each year and on average, 300 Minnesotans suffer from spinal cord injuries,” said Sen. Hayden. “It is time to invest in treatment and rehabilitation efforts. The funding in this bill will be a huge benefit to future treatment innovations.”
The legislation will invest $8 million into a grant program that awards grants to publicly funded research institutions for research into spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
“Our family is honored to have our son’s name on a bill that is crucial to our mission of seeing Jack walk again. We’re extremely grateful to Matthew Rodreick and Senator Jeff Hayden for introducing the bill to the Legislature,” said Leslie Jablonski (Jack’s mom). “Their efforts have raised awareness for spinal cord injury research and the importance of significant funding. We believe a cure is possible and with the financial support of our government, it could be attained in our own backyard.”
Leading the charge for the legislation is Matthew Rodreick. His son, Gabe, suffered from a spinal cord injury four years ago and their family has been working to find the right combination of therapy to deliver the most functional recovery possible. “I believe this legislation puts us into the race for the cure here in Minnesota and is an investment not just in the human needs of our fellow Minnesotans, but also an opportunity to invest in the research that will end paralysis for everyone,” said Mr. Rodreick.
Introducing the bill in the House, Rep. Halverson is hopeful the grant will have a quick and lasting impression. “We need to be supporting vital lives for people with disabilities and this grant money and research can help do just that,” said Rep. Halverson. “We have an opportunity to find breakthroughs that will make an immeasurably positive difference in the lives of thousands of Minnesotans. This bill is coming to us with inspiring grassroots support from the disability community and I’m hopeful we can get it passed this year.”