The Cause


What you may not know...

The most devastating of all sports injuries involves the spinal cord. These injuries sever the nerves in the spinal cord, separating the brain from the nerves that control the muscles of the arms and legs.

Until recently, efforts on the behalf of those with spinal cord injuries were directed to physical and occupational therapy to obtain neuromuscular function, to provide adaptive equipment and to teach adaptive skills.

Recent research has demonstrated remarkable gains in the ability to promote re-growth and connecting nerves throughout the spinal cord. Techniques include functional electrical stimulation to prevent muscle atrophy; substances such as growth inhibitor blockers to overcome the body’s resistance to spinal cord regeneration; and molecular biology to help regenerate nerve tissue. Ultra-modern electric grids on the surface of the brain translate nerve signals that code thoughts of movement into electrical impulses that will instruct muscles to move.

The Katie Samson Foundation has made gifts to a number of promising research and rehabilitation treatments and programs that provide much needed independence and quality of life for those with spinal cord injury. We are proud to recognize the work of the following:


University of Miami's Spinal Cord Program (The Miami Project)

Researchers are developing medications to support the growth of spinal cord neurons through areas of injury-induced scarring to reconnect with the muscles that move our arms and legs.


Brown University's BrainGate Program

Led by by Prof. John Donoghue. Dr. Donoghue has an internationally recognized research lab that translates the neural impulses produced in motor regions of the cerebrum into electrical signals that move the muscles of the arms and legs.


Empower Spinal Cord Injury Inc.

A residential program catered to individuals who have had an injury to their spinal cord. The program focuses not only on the formal physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy; but more importantly peer mentoring, rehabilitation counseling and informal knowledge-sharing between individuals who are going through similar experiences and challenges.



Empowers those disabled by spinal cord injury and their families to overcome financial obstacles to independence through grass roots fundraising. KSF provides funds to a HelpHOPELive campaign in Katie’s honor to help with uninsured medical expenses


Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

KSF supports many important programs for adults with spinal cord injuries. These include Wheelchair Rugby, Tennis, and Basketball, and the outpatient exercise program for individuals with spinal cord injuries at the Riverfront Wellness Center.


Legal Clinic for the Disabled

The Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD) provides free high-quality legal services to low-income people with physical disabilities and to the deaf and hard of hearing in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, Pennsylvania.


Operation First Response

Provides essential support for members of the Armed Forces returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. KSF supports programs that benefit returning war heroes with spinal cord injuries.


Inglis House

Inglis House is a specialty nursing care facility providing long-term, residential care for 297 adults with physical disabilities, including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and stroke, among others.


Art-Reach creates, advocates for and expands accessible opportunities in the arts and culture throughout the greater Philadelphia area.


The festivalwill feature a record setting 54 teams.