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MORE THAN $1,100,000 RAISED BY PARALYZED HORSE TRAINER ROBIN CLEARY
Assistant horse trainer Robin Cleary, who was paralyzed in a horse training accident at Miami’s Calder Racecourse in 1996, was celebrated for raising more than $1.1 million for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis’ spinal cord injury research programs. The 1996 injury left Cleary a quadriplegic, unable to move from the neck down, but each day she inspires others to help change medical history for her and others living with paralysis.
“What Robin has done is simply amazing. I know of no other individual who has led such a grass roots effort to raise money for any charity. She is truly our shining star and an example of how much one determined individual can do to make a huge difference in the lives of so many,” said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti.
Robin and her husband Brian still train horses together but Robin also spends time sharing her story of hope and asking others to believe that a cure for paralysis is not only possible, but within reach at The Miami Project. Robin’s fundraising has come from the horse racing community. She personally reaches out to everyone she can in the industry including farm owners, race track executives, horse related associations, sales companies, trainers, owners, jockeys, grooms, exercise riders and hot walkers. They have all responded, coming together for a common cause.
Robin said, “Each year I continue to try and expand my efforts and reach. I am so fortunate that the horse community, full of so many giving people, answered the call year after year. I never thought it possible to raise the kind of money I have when I started. I’m humbled by everyone’s generosity and fortunate to have many dedicated and generous donors and friends who have given me the opportunity to help fund this research and be a part of finding a cure.”
In early 1998, Cleary learned of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Since The Miami Project is the world’s largest organization working to find a cure for paralysis, Cleary decided that she needed to do what she could to help. In 2000, her efforts became so successful that The Miami Project named a special fund in recognition of her efforts; the Robin Cleary Paralysis Research Fund. One hundred percent of the money she raises goes directly to spinal cord regeneration research programs, which are some of the most promising areas of research in the field. The Miami Project, located at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, is now embarking on a Human Clinical Trials Initiative to fast-track promising research to the clinics and hospitals and Robin’s fundraising is making a big impact in helping to fund the research.