Our Vision

Each and every day since September 16, 2008 has been focused on Romy eventually taking his first steps toward total recovery from his SCI injury.  This unrelenting determination has enabled Romy to make many gains in recovery, including more autonomous breathing that many thought impossible. Click here see Romy and Gaby’s story in detail.

Their efforts also created tremendous knowledge of the SCI treatment and recovery environment.  As Gaby describes it, “This is my reality, and Romulo’s reality every day.  We know it better than most anyone.”  Driven by this focus on recovery and the knowledge that most local SCI patients didn’t have rehabilitation options in the immediate Tampa area, Romy and Gaby decided to form this charitable foundation, and to create the Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center.

This non-profit center will be designed to provide state of the art recovery to SCI patients in the Tampa community and surrounding area.  It will be open to both military and civilian SCI patients. Combining the technical and medical experience of Dr. Merritt and the Stay in Step staff, with real-time global collaboration with other SCI subject matter experts and patients, Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center will offer SCI patients real possibilities for taking a step toward recovery.

Romy and Gaby SCI Foundation Inc. d/b/a Stay In Step Foundation is a not-for profit corporation organized under Florida law. Stay In Step Foundation has applied for 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service and anticipates being granted non-profit status  as a charitable foundation in 2014.

Our Steps to Success

The funds needed to open and operate The Stay In Step SCI Recovery Center will be raised in three stages.

Phase 1: Raise $10,000 to cover initial costs to form the corporation, establish the charitable foundation, obtain 501(c)(3) status, finalize the  business plan, develop the web site and online fundraising portals and to handle administrative costs involved with forming our Board of Advisors. To help us fund Step One, click here (ADD LINK)

Phase 2: Raise $750,000 to fully fund, open and operate The Stay In Step SCI Recovery Center.  In addition to hard equipment costs of approximately $150,000 for rehabilitation and exercise equipment, the funds will allow for the rental of sufficient space to house the facility, and to hire a licensed Physical Therapist, three trainers and two aides. To help us fund Step Two, click here (ADD LINK)

Phase 3: Ongoing fundraising through our web site and other means to establish a fund for patients who do not have insurance to cover the cost of their rehabilitation, as well as other charitable needs related to the foundation’s mission.


How You Can Help

The Stay In Step Foundation is presently raising funds to complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our vision so that we can open The Stay In Step SCI Recovery Center in 2014. This is not a small endeavor that we can do without community support and we truly appreciate the generous support we have received. Donate online here.

We also have ongoing online auctions of incredible prizes, sports memorabilia and other items donated by our generous supporters. Bid on these auction items which will help us reach our financial goals here.

If you would like to donate an item for us to auction off either on our website or at one of our events, please contact us through this page.

For corporate donations, matching, and in-kind donations, please contact us through this page.