IT’S NOT A QUESTION OF WHETHER EFFECTIVE TREATMENT WILL BE FOUND, BUT WHEN
- It can happen to anyone
- At least 250,000 acute spinal cord injuries each year
- Main cause: Accidents in everyday life
The private research foundation Wings for Life has as its goal finding ways to cure all spinal cord injury patients worldwide.
The driving forces behind Wings for Life are the two-time motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner and the founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz.
In 2003, Kinigadner’s son Hannes had a tragic accident which left him tetraplegic. It was the decisive impetus to set up the foundation.
Moved by the dreadful injury, Kinigadner and Mateschitz invited leading scientists from across the world to go to Salzburg. It soon became clear that, contrary to common opinion, there is legitimate reason to hope that traumatic spinal cord injury can be cured. For scientists agree: injured nerve cells in the spinal cord are capable of regeneration.
What induced Kinigadner and Mateschitz to act was the fact that there was insufficient research in this area. Paralysis is not considered a widespread condition, and therefore investing millions in research to help a relatively small number of people was generally considered an unprofitable endeavor.
The chances are increasing that a "spinal cord injury" diagnosis will one day be a thing of the past.