In 2007, The Darrell Gwynn Foundation teamed up with Craig Hospital, one of the nation's premier rehabilitation hospitals for patients with spinal cord injuries, to form the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Patient Assistance Fund. The Patient Assistance Fund is designed to alleviate some of the unforeseeable costs newly injured spinal cord victims face once they leave the hospital. Many of these expenses are not for luxury items, but simply for items spinal cord victims require to ensure an adequate quality of life. In 2012, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation donated $25,000 to Craig Hospital to support this fund.
Another aspect of the Patient Assistance Fund is the Darrell Gwynn Foundation's support of Speediatrics. Speediatrics represents two very unique pediatric units in the state of Florida - The Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, FL and Homestead Hospital in Homestead, FL. Each pediatric unit is equipped with top-flight equipment and staff. In surroundings designed by NASCAR First Lady Betty Jane France, youngsters literally race to recovery in a fun-filled facility often visited by top NASCAR drivers. The racing related theme has proven to make treatment more acceptable, comfortable and effective for children and their families in what ordinarily might be an intimidating medical environment. Since 2002, The Darrell Gwynn Foundation has supported Speediatrics by donating a portion of the money raised at our Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournaments each November and February at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, respectively.
Darrell Gwynn's support of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis began even before his accident when he began donating portions of his race winnings to the organization striving to find a cure for paralysis. Dr. Lisa Gwynn also has had a long relationship as she worked as a lab technician at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis prior to attending medical school. In 2004, The Darrell Gwynn Foundation aligned with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to fund research targeted toward Neuroprotection by forming the "Darrell Gwynn Foundation's Fast Track Laboratory for Neuroprotection Studies." What is neuroprotection? In the hours and days following a spinal cord injury (SCI), nerve cells that survive the initial injury are at greatest risk of damage due to inflammation at the site of the injury. Researchers are exploring ways to minimize this inflammatory process. Treatment modalities such as hypothermia (cooling) have been shown to minimize inflammation. Additionally, neuroprotective agents such as IL-10 and others can inhibit the inflammatory cascade and minimize tissue damage.
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation partnered with Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. to help support its patients recovering from spinal cord injuries and create more awareness of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week.
Serving the community for more than 35 years, Brooks Rehabilitation has developed a long-standing tradition of providing quality inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation care to Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Our 157-bed acute physical rehab hospital is unique in the region with a highly trained staff and an unmatched range of services. To supplement our inpatient services, we have an extensive network of outpatient centers as well as a cutting-edge research facility which allow us to provide the best continuum of care possible to the communities we serve. As a non-profit health system, we are deeply dedicated to meeting the needs and improving the health of our community. While our inpatient and outpatient services are providing community benefits each and every day, Brooks' impact reaches far beyond its walls through community donations, research, training and education, community health programming, and volunteerism. Above all else, Brooks empowers people throughout the community to reach their highest possible level of independence-at work, at play and in their everyday lives. Brooks is more than rehabilitation. It's about being you again.
At this time, we are not accepting new grant applications from hospitals or individuals to receive assistance from the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. We are mandated by our Board of Directors to remain within the scope of our current program services. Our goal is to increase fundraising and expand our Patient Assistant Fund in the future, but at this time we are not taking applications for new grants. Thank you for your support of the Darrell Gwynn Foundation.