‘Spotlight on Hope’ Gala to Raise Awareness and Funds for Neurological Disorders

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI), a research discovery nonprofit that focuses on neurological care, will host its inaugural Spotlight on Hope gala at 6 p.m. April 15 at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver. The presenting sponsor is Radiology Imaging Associates, a leader in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology.

The Spotlight on Hope event is an outreach to raise awareness about brain cancer, stroke, aneurysms, and other neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, as well as to raise funds for research discovery and focused neuro care.

The medical community is aware that brain failure is not yet well understood by the public. Spotlight on Hope wants to open a clear channel to talk about traumatic neurological conditions in which the brain, spinal cord and nerve dysfunctions are pivotal to comprehend the subtleties of symptom progression. The event will present short documentaries to address brain cancer, stroke, aneurysm, and Parkison’s.

The inaugural gala highlights five Hope Awardees. According to a press release, three of the awardees are patients who showed courage facing their neurological conditions while inspiring and giving other patients hope:

  • Mandy Banks, a 28-year-old first-time mother, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in her eighth month of pregnancy and almost didn’t survive, reclaiming her life through responsive care and functional therapy. Together with her husband Matt, Mandy raised $50,000 for the American Heart Association.
  • Rick Schwartz, a former Fox Sports Network news director, who was diagnosed with Parkinon’s disease. He is a past board president and current board member of the Parkinson Association of the Rockies, and 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, who at 7 years old was diagnosed with brain cancer. She underwent several tumor surgeries and chemotherapy, and her ongoing MRI scans now show that the cancer is finally in remission.

The remaining two recipients of the award were chosen for neuroscience discovery and treatment. They acknowledge research that led to treatment and collaborative medical support:

  • Allen Bowling, named Neuroscientist of the Year for evidence-based, complementary, alternative and traditional treatments of multiple sclerosis;
  • The Swedish Medical Center, Community Champion for being one of the country’s top community hospitals with comprehensive neurological services, including stroke response teams.

The CNI has facilitated clinical trials and investigative research through their specialized staff (70-plus physicians and researchers), which have allowed for significant advancements that have enabled new function-restoring treatments and improvements in the quality of life of neurological patients. Through the CNI’s Vollbracht NeuroHealth Center, the nonprofit delivers:

  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies that optimize neural function;
  • Compensatory strategies to overcome challenges and deficits, like walking devices for improved mobility;
  • Driving assessment;
  • Counseling;
  • Chronic disease management programs;
  • Support groups.

Image credits: The CNI