The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball team will be playing for more than just a win on Thursday evening when it hosts William Paterson University at the Sports & Recreation Center at 7:00pm.  The Dolphins have teamed with Matt Valente’s Walk4 organization, a program that raises awareness for spinal cord related injuries and raises money towards a cure.

A Petrides High School alum, Valente’s injuries sustained from an accident seven years ago left him as a quadriplegic.  Together with his former Physics teacher Mr. Carlos Rodriguez, the duo started Walk4, a grass-roots program which sees all proceeds donated going directly to The Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University. There, world renowned neuroscientist/surgeon Dr. Wise Young leads a team of stem cell researchers, with the focus on a cure for spinal cord injury. It is the SCI Projects’ goal to bring clinical trials here in the United States.  Matthew and other paralyzed individuals live with the knowledge that there isn’t a cure as of yet. However, Matt, who was a high school star wrestler, has the potential to walk again with the aid of The Spinal Cord Injury Project, which utilizes umbilical cord blood stem cells to repair the damaged spinal cord.

Petrides alum Victoria Wong, a sophomore libero for the squad, brought the Walk4 cause home to the CSI hardwood, and at the end of tonight’s game, the Dolphins will create a Walk4 Walk & Roll canvas which will capture their footprints and Matt’s tire treads symbolizing support for a Spinal Cord Injury Cure.  Walk4 raises awareness by inviting prominent members of the community to participate in the Walk & Roll program in which supporters “walk four feet across a canvas for a cure.”  All proceeds tonight will be donated to the SCI Project and Wheeling Forward, a nonprofit organization that enables people with disabilities to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles. 

If you would like to give directly to the cause, please call (718) 982-3169 or better yet, come support the volleyball squad and Matt, when they host the Pioneers tonight at the Sports & Recreation Center.  Admission is free and PG CLUE Certified for all CSI students.