Carlsbad-based Spinal Elements, a spine technology company, officially celebrated the one-year anniversary of its "Hero Allograft" launch at this year’s North American Spine Society (NASS) convention in New Orleans. The company hosted a celebration at the New Orleans House of Blues Oct. 10, where it announced that an estimated $250,000 for children's charities will have been raised from its Hero Allograft sales by the end of 2013. The donations were split nationally between Make-A-Wish and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Two $125,000 check presentations were made that night to local Make-A-Wish and St. Jude representatives, and local Make-A-Wish and St. Jude families were honored and spoke of how the organizations have changed their lives. Dr. Mike Leahy, one of the first surgeons in the U.S. to participate in Spinal Elements "Pledge to Be a Hero" program, was also honored at the event. Dr. Leahy uses Hero allograft exclusively. Rock band Smash Mouth was there to perform and celebrate the "Hero" event, and dedicated "All Star" to the attending families that evening.
Spinal Elements is the first spine company to donate 100 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of its allograft tissue product called Hero to charities benefiting children with life-threatening medical conditions. Although many companies earn significant profits from the sale of allograft, Spinal Elements has chosen to donate all profits from the sale of its Hero allograft to Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Allograft is human tissue that is obtained by way of an authorized gift of a donor and/or their family, and can then be turned into scores of medical products. Every year, 1.5 million of these products are given to American patients. Spinal Elements chose to name its first allograft tissue product "Hero" to honor those whose donation made the tissue donation possible. Hero was launched last year at the NASS convention in Dallas.
“Spinal Elements sees Allograft as much more than a product or a commodity, “president and co-founder of Spinal Elements Jason Blain said. “Allograft is the physical embodiment of a human life and deserves that level of respect. We are honored to be stewards of this precious gift."
Todd Andres, CEO and co-founder of Spinal Elements, said, "We feel that the best way to pay respect to the donation of human tissue is to donate our efforts to get it to the patients who need it and to extend that gift to ailing children. We refer to that as honoring the gift and paying it forward."
Hero consists of various configurations of human allograft tissue including demineralized bone matrix (DBM) in paste or putty form, compressible cancellous blocks and strips, and structural grafts. These types of grafts are typically used in fusion procedures. For more information, please visit spinalelements.com/hero.
— Spinal Elements press release.