Long Island Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center (LISCIRC) was created in 2004 as a project of the Testaverde
Fund for Spinal Cord Injury Inc, a 501C3 tax exempt organization. While the Testaverde Fund initially focused on
raising money for SCI research, LISCRC was formed as an effort to broaden its mission and provide more
The purpose of the Center is two fold. First, it provides a support network to families, particulary parents and
spouses, who have recently had a loved one, fall victim to SCI. In addition, the Center provides information about
things such as housing, social security, transportion, or other special needs of those recently afflicted with SCI .
Second, the Center is undertaking a high shool educational program aimed at prevention. Joe Testaverde,
Assistant Director and the young man after whom the Testaverde Fund was named, will take the lead on talking to
high school students on Long Island about the causes and ways to prevent SCI. Joe was paralyzed in a swimming
pool accident in 2000 and believes he can connect to students who are the same age as he was when he was
injured. In addition, the program will be discussing the new exciting treatments and research going on, such as in
the area of stem cell research, which we believe will lead to a future cure.
“If we can save just one kid from taking an unnecessary risk and preventing a spinal cord injury, the whole effort
will be worthwhile”, said LISCIRC chairperson Kathy Testaverde, and mother of Joe. “We also hope to streamline
the process of information gathering for families who are still overcoming the shock of hearing the news of a loved
one becoming disabled. We want them to know we are here to provide help and emotional support as well”
One of the problems the Testaverde’s discovered, was that there was no central repository of information that
they could easily go to. The Center, through its affiliation with other SCI organizations, will act as a clearing
house to gather the most pertinent information and make that available through printed information packages as
well as through its web site. More importantly, they will provide much needed emotional support to the families,
who invariably feel out of control and hopeless during the initial days and weeks of their ordeal.
Testaverde Fund for Spinal Cord Injury, Inc.
The Testaverde Fund for Spinal Cord Injury, Inc. is a 501C3 federally tax exempt organization formed in 2003 as
a means of raising funds for spinal cord injury research and providing community outreach and educational
programs. The Fund is named after Joe Testaverede from Wantagh, Long Island. While Joe is lucky to be alive
today, as a result of the injury, he is paralyzed from the waist down, and has lost dexterity in both hands. Joe is
also the cousin of former NY Jets quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde.
The thrust behind the Testaverde Fund first began in 2001 when a core group of Joe‚s friends and family aligned
themselves with SCI pioneer Kent Waldrep to become the northeast regional chapter of the National Paralysis
Foundation. That core became its Executive Committee of volunteers, who had acted as a support network for
Joe and his family during his ordeal. Following Joe‚s rehabilitation, they decided to devote their time and effort to
help raise funds for a cure and more recently to help families who have suffered the trauma of having a loved one
succumb to spinal cord injury. In addition, the group assembled a prominent Advisory Board, enlisting the support
of sports figures, business executives and government officials, who have lent their name to the cause. When
Kent left his foundation in 2003, the NE Chapter continued its work, applying for and receiving its own tax exempt
status and renaming the organization the Testaverde Fund for SCI Inc.
The Testaverde Fund supports research being done by The Spinal Cord Injury Project at The State University of
New Jersey at Rutgers, under the leadership of Dr. Wise Young. In their labs, state of the art molecular, genetic
and cellular research gives new hope to kids like Joe around the world, who dream of one day walking away from
their wheel chairs.