Two Powerful Foundations Join Forces to Create the Nation's Premier Spinal Cord Injury Organization
Life Rolls On Foundation and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Merge
(SHORT HILLS, NJ) – Sept. 25, 2009 - On what would have been Christopher Reeve's 57th birthday, Life Rolls On Foundation (LRO) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have announced a merger. Effective immediately, Life Rolls On Foundation, based in Los Angeles, will serve as the West Coast headquarters and division of the Reeve Foundation.
The Reeve Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of people living with paralysis. Life Rolls On, founded by Jesse and Josh Billauer, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) and utilizes action sports as a platform to inspire infinite possibilities despite paralysis.
Both organizations' mission and focus will remain the same. LRO will continue to produce unique quality of life programs, including its award-winning, adaptive surfing program, They Will Surf Again, as well as education, motivation and awareness initiatives.
"Every cause has its moment," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. "The Reeve Foundation and Life Rolls On believe that charting a new course and unifying the SCI community is necessary to create a better future and realize the greatest potential for discoveries, interventions and advancements, and for the best overall outcomes for the paralysis community as a whole," he added.
Kris Nakamura, executive director and CEO of Life Rolls On, stated, "LRO's contemporary brand and unique quality of life programs resonate with young adults, while the Reeve Foundation is the leading resource for spinal cord injury advocacy, research and care. Together, we look forward to providing the most comprehensive support for the SCI community through increased access to quality of life programs and resources nationwide."
Jesse Billauer, who sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of a surfing accident 13 years ago, will continue to serve as a powerful LRO spokesperson, while Josh Billauer will join the Reeve Foundation board of directors and chair a steering committee to provide guidance for the West Coast office.
Matthew Reeve, son of Christopher Reeve and a director of the Reeve Foundation remarked, "This merger brings us full circle. It was my father's original phone call to Jesse that gave him such inspiration in the early days after his injury. Through Life Rolls On, Jesse has carried that torch to tens of thousands of people to become a similar source of inspiration."
"This partnership brings tremendous growth for both organizations," said Jesse Billauer. "With more than one million people affected by spinal cord injury in the United States, as partners, we can inspire even more people with the message that life after spinal cord injury truly 'rolls on.'"
The Reeve Foundation will support the efforts of Life Rolls On for their 6th Annual Night by the Ocean gala on Oct. 4. The star-studded, red carpet affair will take place at the Kodak Theatre Grand Ballroom in Hollywood, CA, where LRO will pay tribute to Jenna Wolfe of the TODAY show and actress Brooke Burns for their extraordinary contributions to the SCI community. For more information, visit www.NightByTheOcean.org.