The Stanford Partnership for Spinal Cord Injury & Repair

The Roman Reed Story

SPSC has already attracted a number of new backers. Former San Francisco 49ers players Steve Young (left) and Brent Jones (right) strongly support Roman Reed’s efforts to promote research and awareness on behalf of those with spinal cord injury.

It was the first game of the college football season, and Roman Reed was playing exceptionally well. Then fate intervened. The tackle only took a few seconds, a vertebra was crushed, and his dream of playing in the NFL ended.

"I tried to give a thumbs-up to the crowd, but my hand didn’t work. I went from being able to bench press 430 pounds to not being able to lift my arms or move my legs."

The doctor’s prognosis was bleak, and Reed was told that he would never walk again, never use his arms, and never father a child. His response? "never tell me never!" today, Reed can bench press 225 pounds and is the proud father of three!

Reed and his father Don have worked tirelessly to have the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act passed in California. As a result, more than $12.5 million in state funds has been awarded to scientists conducting research in spinal cord regeneration. An additional $50 million has been leveraged from outside sources.

Reed joined the SPSC to promote research and awareness on behalf of all those with spinal cord injury and dysfunction. President Obama invited him to the March 9, 2009, ceremony commemorating the historic reversal of the government’s ban on the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Reed is not only back in the game, he is also calling plays.

A blog posted on California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) by Roman Reed: Link