The Rex Marco, M.D., Fund of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Launches with $1.1M Gift

HOUSTON and SHORT HILLS, N.J., Nov. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today a new collaboration with Houston’sRex A.W. Marco, M.D., a nationally renowned spinal surgeon and musculoskeletal oncologist who was paralyzed in a bicycle accident last year. The Rex Marco, M.D., Fund of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation (the Marco Fund) has been created with a $1.1 million gift from Dr. Marco’s Spine and Extremity Tumor Research Endowment and will help accelerate groundbreaking research toward cures for spinal cord injury (SCI) and provide advocacy support and resources to improve quality of life for those impacted by paralysis.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. (PRNewsFoto/Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

Dr. Marco selected the Reeve Foundation as a collaborator for its global reputation and leadership in advancing scientific discoveries for SCIs. The Marco Fund will focus primarily on the Houston area initially and will expand over time to serve individuals and families across the country and beyond.

“As a physician and as someone who lives with a spinal cord injury, I believe strongly that cures are possible – but only if we work together,” says Dr. Marco, formerly of Houston Methodist Hospital. “Through this collaboration and ongoing donor support of the Marco Fund at Reeve, gifts will be maximized and channeled to the scientific endeavors that have the greatest potential for success.”

Dr. Marco was riding his bike in Memorial Park in July 2019 when his tire got stuck and he flipped over the handlebars, landing on his head. Acutely aware that he may have sustained a catastrophic injury, he went into “full doctor mode,” instructing a friend on how to avoid worsening his injury and coordinating his own emergency surgical care. “I knew I had broken my neck, and I was paralyzed,” he says. “It was important to accept that. There was no turning back.” Dr. Marco was diagnosed with quadriplegia and underwent emergency surgery.

Despite heartbreak – “I knew I probably would never hold my unborn baby,” says the father of four sons, including his now one-year-old – Dr. Marco believes his accident has given him newfound understanding and empathy for his own patients and is part of a larger plan for his life. “I don’t know yet what that plan is, but I’m gaining clarity and my partnership with the Reeve Foundation is part of it.”

The Marco Fund’s $1.1 million gift to the Reeve Foundation will fund research initiatives, including support for GTX Medical, a leading global company committed to developing novel neuromodulation therapies to improve functional recovery of people with SCI1. GTX, launched in late 2019, recently received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its Go-2 system, an implantable device that provides targeted epidural spinal stimulation therapy designed to help SCI patients restore leg motor function and neurological control. It is also conducting a pivotal clinical trial for its wearable LIFT device system (which received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation in 2017) for clinical rehabilitation therapy and home-use by patients with upper limb paralysis after SCI. The

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Sarah Jessica Parker and Christopher John Rogers Will Join Vogue’s Virtual Forces of Fashion Summit

On November 16 and 17, Vogue will host its very first virtual Forces of Fashion summit. There will be candid discussions between some of the biggest names in the industry, including Vogue’s November and October cover stars Naomi Campbell and Lizzo, the latter of whom will be in conversation with designer Jeremy Scott. Other panel speakers include Virgil Abloh, Victoria Beckham, and Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. Also participating this year will be Alber Elbaz of AZ Fashion, creative director Craig Green, Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee, photographer Ethan James Green, Loewe creative director and JW Anderson founder Jonathan Anderson, and writer and director Reggie Yates.

Today, we’re announcing that the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers, who just launched his first e-commerce site, will be joining as well, and he will be in discussion with actor, shoe designer, and businesswoman Sarah Jessica Parker. 

Exactly what they will be discussing during their panel is still under wraps, as are the details for the rest of the virtual chats. But you can count on topics like racial equality, sustainability, and the future of the fashion industry coming up. The two-day virtual event will include opening remarks from Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, live Q&As with Vogue editors, networking sessions, and drop-ins from surprise guests, as well as a morning wellness session and happy hour on the second day.

More details and tickets are available on the Forces of Fashion website. Check back for updates ahead of the event, which will take place on November 16 and 17.

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