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September 30, 2010



Supporting the wounded warrior

To the editor:

As a former Marine turned scientist in the field of regenerative medicine, our wounded soldiers hold a special place in my heart. The Pittsburgh region is making a tremendous effort to help heal the lives and bodies of soldiers injured by the current conflicts. To date, over 34,000 members of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies estimate that more than 300,000 will suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. These injuries are often devastating, leaving a formerly active young man or woman unable to care for themselves. While relatives are grateful for their return, the round-the-clock care required to treat these wounded warriors often falls on their families, giving caregivers no choice but to leave their jobs and forgo health care of their own.

For this reason, I want to highlight the first annual Run for the Wounded Warrior, which is being held Nov. 13 in Pittsburgh’s North Park. This fundraiser is being organized to assist service members who have been injured in the line of duty. Runners and walkers have a choice of a 5K or a 5-mile distance to choose from. All proceeds from the Run for the Wounded Warrior will be donated to the nonprofit organization Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), and will support a full range of programs and services for severely injured service members and their families.

WWP provides programs and services to assist injured veterans and their families during their recovery, rehabilitation and transition. Its mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Whether through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services or adaptive sporting opportunities, Wounded Warrior Project’s vision is to help make this generation of wounded warriors the most successful and well-adjusted in our nation’s history.

This event is being organized first and foremost to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. However, we want to take this opportunity to highlight what else is happening in the Pittsburgh region to specifically benefit the health and well being of the wounded warrior. There are countless scientists, doctors, companies and many others whose focus is regenerative medicine techniques to specifically heal our soldiers. On race day we will take the time to highlight these efforts. Current sponsors are the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, UPMC Health Plan and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. We are looking for sponsors, donations and of course runners/walkers for this great event. If you would like to get involved, please contact me and visit for more information.

Let’s support our wounded warrior!

Charlotte Emig

Research Program Manager

Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative


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