masonsMAINA YOUNG research scientist who broke his neck in a mountain bike accident in 2008 has been handed a £65,000 grant from The Masonic Charitable Foundation to improve the quality of life and independence of people with spinal cord injuries.

Sean Doherty, who has limited hand and arm function, is researching the NEUROMOD project that aims to develop “wearable stimulation devices” to control bladder and bowel functions of spinal cord injured people as an alternative to pharmaceutical therapies.

Restoration of bladder and bowel function is considered a top priority for patients who have suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury.

Although the inability to walk is often assumed to be the most challenging consequence of such an injury, the loss of control of bladder and bowel is often the most difficult to manage and can have a persistent and detrimental effect on health, welfare and quality of life.

Rory Steevenson, director at INSPIRE Foundation, which fundraises for spinal cord research, said: “One of my biggest worries with our research programme is whether or not we can afford to run projects as we receive no government funding.

“The Masonic Charitable Foundation grant has covered the remaining cost of NEUROMOD and will guarantee it can continue to full term. This is the best possible news and we are so grateful.”

Inspire Foundation, tel 01722 336262

Masonic Charitable Foundation: Confidential enquiry line: 0800 035 60 90

Switchboard: 020 3146 3333