Jake Beckstrom had a diving accident at age 16 in a backyard pool and sustained a C4-6 SCI. After receiving a law degree and master's degree in 2015, Jake soon began working for Minnesota-based nonprofit Unite 2 Fight Paralysis as manager of the Cure Advocacy Network. He has worked on developing smarter SCI research funding in many states across the United States in the effort to find a cure for paralysis.
Community Engagement Committee Member
Carol Suchy is a 55-year-old married woman and mother of two children. Eight years ago she fell off a snowmobile and rolled into a tree causing a T12 AIS C SCI. She participates in the ABLE program at CKRI and is an active research participant in studies through UMN and Mayo Clinic.
Matthew Roderick left his career in Emergency Department Management after his son’s cervical SCI in 2008 at the age of 16. He was a primary caregiver for several years through his son’s transition to living independently. Matthew then transitioned to advocacy both locally and nationally to educate, organize and build collaborations amongst the core stakeholders toward expediting treatment innovations for SCI.
Sheri Melander-Smith, MBP, MAP is an author and disability wellness advocate. Sheri was born with a condition called Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome and has faced life-long issues related to her condition. In 2014, she had a spinal cord AVM rupture causing paraplegia and severe chronic pain.
Tiffany Elliott is an Occupational Therapist, mother, and primary caregiver to her son who sustained a traumatic incomplete SCI at the C4-C5 level in 2018. Tiffany’s son lives at home with her and she provides assistance with all self care tasks, transfers, and daily needs. In addition, Tiffany is a fierce advocate for her son's ongoing health needs, overall wellbeing, and continued recovery. She is also a board member for the Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation.
Lynne Dorr was injured in a vehicle/deer accident November 2008. She has a C4-C7 complete spinal cord injury and is a divorced single mom raising two daughters. Lynne takes part in intensive exercise at Fit 4 Recovery and the ABLE Program at CKRI.
Joe Dailey was in a motor vehicle accident in November 2002 that resulted in a C5/6 SCI and quadriplegia. Prior to his injury, he was employed as a project controls specialist for Mortenson, and is currently a community stewardship coordinator for the company. Having been a marathon runner, he remains committed to fitness, working out at the CKRI fitness center, practicing adaptive yoga, participating in the ABLE program, and enjoys hand cycling and sky diving.