October 26, 2015


Written by derekherrera
Because of the generosity of so many supporters, Spinal Singularity was able to raise over $50k in funds in under two months.  The team and I are absolutely humbled and inspired as we move forward to execute our business plan.  This success has motivated us to work even harder to accomplish our mission and that is the only way we will be able to repay you.


I also spent some time in DC.  I was able to visit with Secretary ‘Bob’ at the VA Office.  He was very nice and talked with me for a little over an hour on a Friday afternoon.  We discussed a variety of topics and I left feeling like he was working diligently to improve the environment at the VA (for employees and Veterans alike).  His record is impressive and I think he is well-suited to handle the unique challenges the VA is currently facing.
Derek Herrera meeting with Secretary Bob McDonald VA @2x
The reason I was in DC was to film an acceptance award for the Paralyzed Veteran’s of America (PVA) UnstoppABLE awards.  This year I was honored with the UnstoppABLE award but was unable to attend.  The PVA has been an incredible organization that I am honored to support.  Currently, I serve as an alternate member on the board of their Research Foundation where they provide a little over $1M in grants to researchers for Spinal Cord Injury and Disease every year.
I was unable to accept the UnstoppABLE award in person because that same day I had to be in San Diego for the conclusion of the MedTech Innovator program that I participated in this Summer.  The event concluded at the AdvaMed Medical Device Conference and our team was awarded the Johnson and Johnson JLabs Innovation Award for free laboratory space.
Derek Herrera MedTech Innovator Semi Finalist @2x
After AdvaMed I travelled to Chicago to attend the Annual Meeting for the North American Spine Society.  I was invited on behalf of their public education arm the North American Spine Foundation.  This organization is working to increase awareness about spine-related disability and challenging providers and innovators to improve the way people with spinal injuries are cared for and rehabilitated.  It was an impressive conference and I was fortunate to meet so many professionals all focused on spinal issues.
I then went to New York City where I attended the annual fundraising gala for the headstrong project.  This non-profit organization is doing some remarkable work to expand access to mental health services for any Veterans.  They have partnered with top-notch medical professionals that will respond to any Veteran seeking help within hours to get them the care they need.  The event was held at One World Trade Center and was incredible.  It is truly inspiring to see other Veterans take action to solve issues and problems we experience and I am honored to know a few of the people running the headstrong project.
Lastly, I was able to complete the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend on my handcycle.  It was raining throughout the whole race but Maura and I had a great weekend in DC.