Shoot For A Cure Hockey, established in 2000, is a hockey-focused campaign of the American and Canadian Spinal Research Organizations (registered charities established 1984). It is directly focused on and led by the hockey community. The Shoot For A Cure campaign seeks to raise funds for spinal cord research, to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries in hockey and to promote prevention of hockey-related spinal cord injuries through the Play it Cool ™ prevention program. Since the induction of Shoot For A Cure over $2,000,000 dollars have been raised to further research and development for continued commitment of our ultimate goal to find a cure and prevent future injury.
Almost every week during the regular hockey season a player (amateur or professional) suffers a serious spinal injury. From 1982 – 1996, Canada reported 252 hockey related major spinal cord injuries, followed by Sweden with 54 and the United States with 36. During that same 15-year period, at least 8 players died and 85 required wheelchairs indefinitely due to spinal injuries sustained while playing hockey. Of note, most of these injuries occurred to the cervical spine of players 16-20 years of age who were playing in supervised games, reinforcing the necessity of targeting the minor hockey community with the message of skilled and respectful play.