Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation awards lifetime grants to three spinal cord injury survivors


The Socrates Prize rewards people who face disability with perseverance and courage

CHICAGO , August 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Each year in the United States, approximately 17,000 people survive spinal cord injury. While treatment and follow-up care vary depending on the severity of the injury, medical costs can easily top $500,000 in the first year alone. These staggering costs inspired the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation to create the Socrates Prize, a grant given annually since 2018 to people with paralysis caused by illness or injury. This lifetime cash grant provides spinal cord injury survivors with annual infusions of economic resources to help with their ongoing care, from therapy and equipment to prescriptions and home care.

Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation awards lifetime grants to three spinal cord injury survivors

This year, the Socrates Prize honors three recipients for their efforts to achieve personal success while pursuing the daily routine of physical rehabilitation and recovery. These individuals will each receive an annual cash grant, starting this year.

  • Robert Cooper (Highland Park, Ill.): Before July 4, 8-year-old Cooper Roberts was a typical kid: running, biking and playing with friends. He enjoyed playing sports, including soccer, baseball and football. Cooper’s life took an unexpected and difficult turn when he was shot in the mass attack on Highland Park on July 4, 2022. Cooper’s strength and courage in the face of the resulting paralysis and through numerous surgeries towards his recovery have been amazing and inspiring.
  • Daniel Dore (Chicago, Ill.): Police officer Daniel Golden was shot in the back while allegedly breaking up a fight in July 2022. Golden, a US Army veteran, is now paralyzed from the waist down . He has already demonstrated his inner discipline and mental toughness in his rapid rehabilitation progress.
  • Christophe Medak (Los Angeles, CA): Chris, a creative writer and assistant producer, was paralyzed in August 2017 while body surfing off the coast of Los Angeles. While in the ocean, a rogue riptide put Chris in the path of a seven-foot wave, which picked him up and pushed him back into just a foot of water. The blow shattered his C5 cervical vertebrae, resulting in quadriplegia. Helping others in similar circumstances has been an essential aspect of Chris’ physical recovery. Additionally, he overcame his addiction to drugs and alcohol and recently celebrated 35 years of service and commitment to his community.

The Socrates Prize honors the ideal of Socratic belief in mens sana in corpore sano: “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” Christopher Brennan, president of the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation, established the Socrates Prize during his tenure in sports media. In 2000, Brennan worked with her late father, Terry Brennan, former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, to set up this award, which originally recognized collegiate athletes who achieved a combination of athletic and academic success.

Following Brennan’s spinal cord injury which resulted in quadriplegia – partial to complete loss of all four limbs and torso – the award changed to its current form.

“After sustaining a spinal cord injury, Socrates’ creed took on deep meaning for me,” says Brennan. “I am honored to recognize those individuals who recognize that life, like sport, is full of incredible highs and frustrating lows, and that the daily pursuit of a ‘healthy mind’ and ‘healthy body’ in the face of adversity is a true testament to his character.”

In 2021, Socrates Prize winners each received a $1,000 scholarship. Each year since 2018, the foundation’s board has increased this amount and anticipates that this amount will continue to increase alongside the organization’s fundraising efforts and events. Winners, along with past winners, will be recognized at the annual meeting of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council on March 12, 2023 in Chicago.

About the Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation The Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation is a 501c3 charitable foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Foundation is committed to assisting individuals who have suffered cervical spine injuries causing physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as their families and communities, by providing financial resources to help ensure a continuum of rehabilitation resources and offer individuals with opportunities to ultimately achieve optimal health and independence. Please visit to learn more about the foundation, including giving opportunities and future fundraising events.

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SOURCE Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation


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