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‘I might even run again’

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Great strides for spinal care

Nicholas Schoenhoff’s spinal cord injury would have left him paralyzed for life 20 years ago but now because of medical advances he is learning to walk again.

“Not so long ago I would never have a chance to walk again,” Nicholas said at the kickoff for the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion fundraiser being held Sunday.

Two years ago, the 15-year-old was on a ski trip when he had a nasty fall. He was given steroids to reduce swelling. After being airlifted to the Hospital for Sick Children, doctors removed a bone pressing on his spine and then reconstructed his neck.

“It’s a fairly new practise and it drastically improves the outcome,” said Nicholas, who with the use of canes can slowly walk. “I might even run again.”

Jeff Adams’ spinal cord injury occurred 20 years ago and stemmed from chemotherapy treatment that burned his spine.

“The advances being made are giving people a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Adams, a Paralympian and ambassador with the Rick Hansen Foundation.

The 5th annual national Wheels in Motion event raises money to improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries as well as for research.

In 1985, Rick Hansen started his Man in Motion World Tour, which raised $26 million. His foundation has raised $178 million.

In Toronto, Wheels in Motion takes place Sunday at The Docks, Polson Pier, with registration starting at 9:30 a.m.


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