‘Spotlight on Hope’ to Raise Funds and Awareness for Neurological Disorders, Including Huntington’s

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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neurological diseases and disorders

The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI), a nonprofit organization promoting research, education, and patient services for those with neurological conditions, announced it will host its “Spotlight on Hope” fundraising gala on April 15 at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver.

The gala is both a chance for the public to better understand brain cancers, attacks such as strokes and aneurysms, and neurological conditions like Huntington’s disease, and an opportunity for CNI to raise money to support new research and improved patient care. Radiology Imaging Associates is the presenting sponsor for the event, which starts at 6 p.m.

At “Spotlight on Hope,” CNI will continue its tradition of honoring community leaders and brain disease or disorder patients for their generosity and work, presenting each with a Hope Award. According to a press release, three of this year’s five awardees are patients, recognized for their courage and their efforts to inspire and give hope to others:

  • Mandy Banks, a 28-year-old who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in her eighth month of pregnancy and almost didn’t survive, but reclaimed her life through responsive care and functional therapy. Together with her husband Matt, Mandy has raised $50,000 for the American Heart Association.
  • Rick Schwartz, a former Fox Sports Network news director with Parkinson’s disease, has served as a past board president and is a board member of the Parkinson Association of the Rockies. He is also the founder of Power Punch Parkinson’s, a non-contact boxing program to assist Parkinson’s patients with mobility.
  • Charlotte Varney, the recipient of the “Anything Can Happen” Child Hope Award, was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 7. She underwent several tumor surgeries and chemotherapy, and now, at age 9, is finally in remission. She and her family have been an inspiration to other families facing similar challenges.

Two award recipients were chosen for their efforts in neuroscience research discovery and collaborative medical treatment:

  • Allen Bowling will be honored with the Neuroscientist of the Year award for evidence-based complementary, alternative, and traditional treatments of multiple sclerosis.
  • The Swedish Medical Center, receiving the Community Champion award, is recognized for the work of its staff and administration in providing the Denver community with a hospital with comprehensive neurological services, including stroke response teams.

CNI, through its more than 70 physician and research associates, works to advance neurological care through research discovery and measured outcomes.

Its Vollbracht NeuroHealth Center, a Center of Excellence for Huntington’s disease, offers neurological treatments that include physical, occupational, and speech therapies to optimize patients’ neural function. The center also offers compensatory therapy strategies to help people overcome deficits caused by their conditions, such as walking devices for mobility, driving assessment, counseling, chronic disease management programs, and support groups.