Thousands of Canadians ready to roll in support of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion this Sunday



    VANCOUVER, June 6 /CNW/ - Canadians of all ages and abilities will come
together in communities across Canada this Sunday to support Rick Hansen's
dream of a brighter future for people living with spinal cord injury by taking
part in local events in support of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, presented by
Scotiabank.
    Funds raised this weekend will 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. Wheels In Motion funds support Quality of
Life solutions for people living with spinal cord injury, ranging from home
renovations for recently injured people to large community-based initiatives
to increase accessibility.
    "A spinal cord injury can happen in a moment, but it can change lives
forever," said Bill Crook, Executive Director of Wheels In Motion. "By getting
involved in this event, people across Canada are making a commitment to
building a better world for people living with spinal cord injury."
    In many communities across the country Wheels In Motion events will
feature the Scotiabank Wheelchair Challenge, a fun and exciting experience
where teams compete in a series of demanding activities designed to foster a
better understanding of what it is like to navigate through life using a
wheelchair. Competitors will race against the clock through an obstacle course
and test their dexterity, wheelchair hockey skills, and mouth-painting
abilities.
    "Scotiabank is proud to be involved with the 6th annual Rick Hansen
Wheels In Motion events. Each year, thousands of Scotiabank employees get
involved in Wheels In Motion events across the country and have fun while
building team spirit and raising funds for a very important cause," said
Scotiabank Executive Vice-President of Domestic Banking, Wendy Hannam. "We
urge all 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 more than
$7.6 million to support over 700 Quality of Life projects in communities
across Canada. 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.
    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.
    Canadians can donate at Scotiabank branches across Canada or online at
www.wheelsinmotion.org until June 30, 2008

    
    Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) 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.
    

    About the Rick Hansen Foundation

    The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that
works to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a
spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. Through Rick's
leadership, the Foundation has generated over $200 million for spinal cord
injury related programs and initiatives.
    The Foundation is particularly grateful to our Premier Partner,
Scotiabank, for its outstanding commitment to supporting the search for
solutions for people with spinal cord injury.

    About Scotiabank:

    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 2007 the Bank provided more than $43 million in sponsorships
and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas
of healthcare, education and social services and arts and culture. Please
visit us at www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with your local
event committee or Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador, please contact: Dylan
DeMarsh, Communications Manager, Wheels In Motion, (604) 709-6340, Email:
ddemarsh@rickhansen.com; Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416)
866-6203, livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com


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