Society / The Seen

Top Houston Doctors and Scientists Celebrate in River Oaks

20 Years of Life-Changing Research and One Sweet Dinner

BY // 05.31.17

Twenty years ago, TIRR Foundation was a fledgling entity with three researchers at three institutions studying spinal cord injuries. Today, the effort has grown to more than 120 researchers at more than 20 institutions and with the two-decade milestone anniversary, a celebration was in order.

Kicking the annual “Connect the Docs” fundraiser up a notch or two, organizers put together a festive dinner at River Oaks Country Club that, amid balloons and confetti, applauded the foundation’s success in groundbreaking brain and spinal cord injury research.

More than 200 joined the party at which the founding members of Mission ConnectDr. Guy Clifton, Dr. Robert Grossman, and Claire Hulsebosch, Ph.D. — served as honorary chairs. In the mix were scientists who benefit from proceeds earned at the annual dinner and who informed their table mates of the discoveries and advances that their generosity was funding.

Guest speaker was the world’s most awarded Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, who talked about her principles and strategies for success that led her to 17 medals.

The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) Foundation created the Mission Connect research initiative and raises funds and directs the collaborative neurotrauma research project. The importance of the initiative is evidenced in the staggering figure of those suffering traumatic brain injury in this country each year — 1.7 million.

(The foundation is not to be confused with TIRR Memorial Hermann, the rehabilitation hospital.)

Who: TIRR executive director Cynthia Adkins, Marcia O’Malley, Laura and Bill Wheless, Gene Alford, Kay Holmes, Julie and Larry Phillips, Jackie and Jay Martin, John Brousard, Will Connor, Emily Hempel, Ted Lyons, Sherrie Sale, Melissa and Robert Sale, Peggy and Ashley Smith, and Courtney and Bill Toomey.

Home, chic home.

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