Paraplegia can affect anyone. 50 % of all accidents happen in daily traffic, in which we participate as racing cyclists almost daily. Paraplegia means more than just not being able to walk. We want to help those affected to regain some independence and freedom.
To raise awareness for the foundation's great work, we at the Eddy Merckx Classic bike marathon are happy to support Wings for Life with the proceeds from the charity trip on Saturday. Every year, several thousand euros are donated.
The Eddy Merckx Classic bike marathon enjoys a number of prominent supporters. We are proud that, in addition to world-class athletes such as Lindsey Vonn, David Coulthard and Andreas Goldberger, we are also among the supporters of spinal cord research.
We are also delighted that Andreas Goldberger, who himself lives in the neighbouring region on Mondsee, has been one of the fixed starters of the Eddy Merckx Classic bike marathon for many years - of course over the long distance of 168 kilometers.
In 2003 Heinz Kinigadner's son Hannes had an accident and injured his spinal cord from the fifth cervical vertebra. He feels like millions of people worldwide who are suddenly paraplegic. The consequences are muscle paralysis, and those affected also lose sensations such as touch, pressure, pain and temperature due to the destruction of sensory nerve fibres. What many do not know: A spinal cord injury also impairs bodily functions such as the bladder and intestines, sexual function or blood pressure.
Together with his friend Dietrich Mateschitz, Kinigadner therefore invites renowned experts in this field to Austria and recognises that spinal cord research is completely underfunded.
Kinigadner and Mateschitz trade and found Wings for Life in 2004. A non-profit, state-approved research foundation for the treatment of paraplegia. In order to find effective therapies and medicines, Wings for Life supports top-class projects at universities and clinics such as Harvard, Yale or Charité Berlin. The focus is on the restoration of nerve functions. Outstanding rehabilitation projects and approaches are financed that are intended to preserve important bodily functions for acute and chronically injured patients.
Since its foundation, Wings for Life has funded 170* research projects. There is no cure yet, but progress is being made. In order to continue to support projects, the foundation relies on donations from private individuals and companies. The Wings for Life World Run - the foundation's largest event - has generated several million euros in start money, donations and sponsorship in recent years. 100 % of this is used for research - all administrative costs are borne by Red Bull. The more donations received, the more research projects can be supported.
More information about the foundation and a brief description of all current research projects can be found at www.wingsforlife.com