Alternative Medicine Research for Neurological Disorders
In 2005, at the age of 19, Crystal Phillips was one of the top ranked speed skaters in Canada. Three days later, she was paralyzed in bed. The diagnosis? Multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder that attacks a victim's central nervous system, deteriorating nerves and restricting the brain's ability to communicate with the body. Instead of giving up, Crystal fought back. 6 years later, she is one of the top ten speed skaters in Canada and has founded her own charity, the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.
**Why Branch Out Neurological Foundation is Needed**
There are **over 600 neurological disorders**, ranging from depression to multiple sclerosis, from Alzheimer's Disease to Parkinsons Disease, and approximately **one in six Canadians are afflicted** by one of them.
The brain and nervous system is a complex and sophisticated body system. Very little is known about the billions of actions processed daily. The need to expand on unexplored research options, such as complementary and alternative medicine, is important and can yield amazing results. After all, if Fleming hadn’t explored the mould he accidentally let grow in his petri dish, we wouldn’t have penicillin, would we?
By expanding the research scope, we hope to increase knowledge of the nervous system, thereby improving our ability to repair it.
**What We Do**
The Branch Out Neurological Foundation was founded in 2010 as a means to raise funds towards treatment and research of neurological diseases through the use of natural and holistic options. The Branch Out Neurological Foundation is unique in that holistic and natural focus. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), Crystal's own success with controlling her symptoms through the use of proper nutrition and exercise inspired a less chemical approach than most health practitioners might prescribe. Since going drug-free in 2009, Crystal has had, for the first time, no progression on MRI scans, as well as fewer MS symptoms.
The Branch Out Neurological Foundation also **returns 85%** of its funds back towards the treatment, research and awareness of neurological diseases. As a small, completely volunteer driven initiative, we are able to minimize overhead and give back to our cause. This is especially significant when considering many large charities may only direct 60 - 80 percent of funds raised back to their cause
**How We Do It**
A variety of fundraising events each year provide Branch Out with funds to be put towards our cause. In 2011 over $50,000 was raised and will be directed towards undergrad research etc. In the future, as we grow, we will fund large scale studies and support individuals suffering from neurological disorders.
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