Year do­nated to raise funds

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

One man is de­vot­ing an en­tire year to rais­ing funds to help find a cure for spinal cord in­jury.

Martin Blox­ham, who works at New World Mata­mata, said his in­spi­ra­tion came from two of his friends both of whom had suf­fered spinal cord in­juries.

Mr Blox­ham raise funds for will the Spinal Cord So­ci­ety New Zealand which last year gained ap­proval through the Mul­ti­re­gion Ethics Com­mit­tee to con­duct hu­man clin­i­cal tri­als in New Zealand.

The trial in­volves trans­plant­ing tis­sue from the nose into the spinal cord.

This tis­sue con­tains stem cells and be­cause it comes from the same per­son there are no prob­lems with re­jec­tion or the spread of viruses.

Mr Blox­ham said that there was a need to raise $1 mil­lion to fund the tri­als.

Noela Val­lis be­gan the so­ci­ety in 1988 af­ter her hus­band be­came a para­plegic af­ter a jet- boat­ing ac­ci­dent in 1984.

It be­came a vi­sion for Mrs Val­lis that she would raise funds to as­sist peo­ple with spinal in­juries by sup­port­ing ef­fec­tive re­search to­wards the goal of a cure for spinal cord in­jury.

The lab­o­ra­tory based in Dunedin, which was started and funded by the so­ci­ety, needs do­na­tions to help aid the search for a cure.

Mrs Val­lis said a num­ber of peo­ple na­tion­wide would be rais­ing funds and hold­ing fundrais­ers, in­clud­ing Mr Blox­ham.

Mr Blox­ham, who be­gan his cam­paign on May 1, is sell­ing wrist bands and a num­ber of other good­ies for the so­ci­ety.

‘‘We will be hold­ing events through­out the year,’’ Mr Blox­ham said.

‘‘ We are in talks about hold­ing a box­ing tour­na­ment to help raise funds as well.’’

On March 1, 2013, Mr Blox­ham will start walk­ing from Bluff to Cape Reinga, fin­ish­ing the year of fundrais­ing by ar­riv­ing at Mrs Val­lis’ home in Mata­mata on May 1, 2013.

There will be a do­na­tion box avail­able at the Fit­ness Cen­tre in Pu­taruru.

Do­na­tions can also be made to the Spinal Cord So­ci­ety Of New Zealand at any West­pac branch or by go­ing to sc­snz.org.nz.

Fight­ing for a cure: Martin Blox­ham and Spinal Cord So­ci­ety of New Zealand Founder Noela Val­lis are fight­ing to find a cure for spinal cord in­jury.

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