To better understand the cause and effect of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), The Battle Within Foundation (BWF) announced a first round $25,000 donation to the Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI). This initial contribution will be used towards enabling the expansion of their neurocognitive disorder research. The funds garnered for the donation were collected from tributes made directly to BWF in memory of Lady Joanne Kessler, who passed away in December 2021. She was the wife of MW Richard J. Kessler, the Grand Master of New York State Masons. It was her wish to support this vital cause for Veterans suffering from PTSD.


It is a chilling fact that approximately 20 heroes a day commit PTSD-associated suicide, making it the number one cause of death among American military members, outranking war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents, and other causes.


Founded in 1958 by the Masonic Grand Lodge of New York, MMRI is an internationally recognized biomedical research institute located in Utica, New York. Their research, led by Dr. Maria Kontaridis, the Executive Director and Gordon K. Moe Professor and Chair of Biomedical Research and Translational Medicine, is largely focused on understanding the mechanisms that cause heart disease, brain functional anomalies, and autoimmune disease.


“As the scope of MMRI’s research on neurocognitive disorders continues to diversify, we will also focus our efforts on better understanding PTSD. In collaboration with numerous others in our region who are working tirelessly towards bettering this cause, we hope our efforts will help make a difference in the lives of all those suffering from this devastating disorder,” said Dr. Maria Kontaridis.


“We hope our new collaboration with the MMRI can contribute to making an impact for Veterans and their ongoing suffering from PTSD,” stated Dr. Mark Donnelly, The Battle Within Foundation’s President.


“We send our very best men and women to defend and protect America. Many come back shattered and broken both mentally and physically. America needs to support our Veterans proactively. All injuries are debilitating, but the cruelest wounds are those that can’t be seen. Please help support this noblest of causes,” said MW Richard J. Kessler.

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