Thousands of Canadians get ready to roll in support of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, this Sunday June 10



    VANCOUVER, June 8 /CNW/ - Canadians of all ages and abilities in
communities nationwide will be out bright-and-early this Sunday to support
Rick Hansen's dream of a brighter future for people living with spinal cord
injury (SCI), and for research leading to a cure. Twenty years ago, Rick
Hansen wheeled around the world, fueled by the dream of a fully accessible and
inclusive society, and a cure for spinal cord injury. Today, this dream lives
on through the 5th annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, presented by
Scotiabank.
    In many communities across the country, Wheels In Motion will feature a
fun and challenging Wheels In Motion wheelchair relay with teams that met a
fundraising goal joining together to compete in a series of skill-testing
activities - from picking up groceries to taking out the garbage - while using
a wheelchair. The relay is a fun team-building experience that also helps to
build a better understanding of what it's like to navigate through life in a
wheelchair.
    "We want people to know they really are making a difference by donating
and participating in their local Wheels In Motion event. This event is a
chance to change lives," said Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick
Hansen Foundation. "Over the last five years we've been able to see an
increase in the awareness of the abilities of people with spinal cord injury
and make a positive impact in the lives of these Canadians by funding projects
that promote inclusion and accessibility."
    "Scotiabank is proud to be involved with the 5th annual Rick Hansen
Wheels In Motion event. Each year, thousands of Scotiabank employees get
involved in Wheels In Motion events across the country," said Rick Waugh,
President and CEO, Scotiabank. "We urge Canadians to get involved and join us
in helping to make a difference in the lives of people living with a spinal
cord injury in your community."
    Since its inception in 2003, Wheels In Motion has raised $5.6 million to
support over 500 Quality of Life projects in communities across Canada and
help launch the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry in acute care and
rehabilitation centres throughout the country. Each year, Wheels In Motion
brings us one step closer to achieving the goal of a fully accessible and
inclusive Canada, and a cure for spinal cord injury.
    Quality of Life projects help ensure that people with spinal cord injury
receive the support they need to fully participate in their community and lead
active and healthy lives.
    The Rick Hansen Foundation recognizes and thanks the Canadian Paraplegic
Association, Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, and Canadian Wheelchair
Basketball Association for their strong support as participants in and
organizers of Wheels In Motion.

    
    Spinal Cord Injury Facts

      -  Spinal cord injury affects over 41,000 Canadians, with 1,100 new
         injuries occurring each year.
      -  84% of injuries occur to people under the age of 34.
      -  The most common causes of spinal cord injury in Canada are motor
         vehicle collisions (55%), other medical conditions and sports
         injuries (27%), falls (18%).
      -  The unemployment rate for people with SCI is 62%.
      -  The cost to the Canadian health system is between $1.25 million and
         $25 million during the lifetime of each injured person, depending on
         the severity of the injury. Annual health care costs to the Canadian
         Health Care system for Canadians with spinal cord injury are
         $750 million.
      -  90% of what we know about spinal cord injury has been discovered in
         the last 20 years.

    HOW TO PARTICIPATE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 10:
    --------------------------------------

      -  Join in our Wheel/Walk event with your family, friends, and
         colleagues.

      -  Pledge a participant or make a donation online. Donate at any
         Scotiabank branch, or by sending your donation to: Wheels In Motion,
         Rick Hansen Foundation, 5th Floor, 520 West 6th Ave., Vancouver, BC
         V5Z 1A1.

      -  Volunteer at your local Wheels In Motion event.
    

    The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that
works to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with SCI,
and supports the search for a cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by
connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible. Through
Rick's leadership, the Foundation has generated more than $178 million for
spinal cord injury related programs and initiatives.
    The Foundation is particularly grateful to our Premier Partner,
Scotiabank, for its outstanding commitment to making a difference in the lives
of people with SCI and related disabilities.

    Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live
and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally
and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic
activities, in 2006 the Bank provided more than $42 million in sponsorships
and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas
of healthcare, education and social services. Scotiabank is on the World Wide
Web at www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: interviews with local event committee or Rick
Hansen Foundation Ambassador, please contact: Lindsay Thom, PR & Media
Relations, Rick Hansen Foundation, (604) 709-6335, or lthom@rickhansen.com;
Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-6203, or
livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com


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