The start of the Wings for Life World Run is always an amazing scene, and this year’s simultaneous global kick-off at 11am UTC on May 5 will be even more special: In a first-of-its-kind moment, David Mzee, who was paralyzed in a 2010 gymnastics accident, will stand up and walk the initial meters across the start line on his own, thanks to a recent research breakthrough. And you can join him! There is still time to register for the event and participate anywhere in the world.
Just a few months ago, the first images of David rising from his wheelchair and taking shaky but independent steps were jaw-dropping. After his accident, he had been told he would never walk again; yet he was not only standing and walking, but doing so on his own. He called it a “wonderful feeling,” and the smile on his face said it all.
Of course this is big news in the Wings for Life World Run community, where we raise money for the not-for-profit foundation Wings for Life! The foundation identifies and supports the most promising spinal cord research internationally, and from early on Wings for Life backed the Swiss research team who developed the breakthrough project. Not only was David one of three men with paralysis who were able to walk with stimulation as a result of the trial, which is still ongoing, but he and another patient have also been able to take some steps when the stimulation is turned off, an important development that was unexpected even for the researchers.
It’s phenomenal progress that is already improving the lives of the trial’s subjects, which makes the next phases of research even more critical. And that’s why David is joining thousands globally in the Wings for Life World Run.
When David walks those first steps across the Wings for Life World Run start line, the moment will be a milestone: a victory not only for him, but for all of us in the global movement to find a cure. His participation will give fresh hope to the millions everywhere affected by spinal cord injury.
Thanks to the unique race format, David, starting in Zug, Switzerland, will be joined simultaneously by participants across the planet, walking, running and rolling at event locations or with the Wings for Life World Run App. As they race ahead of the Catcher Car moving finish line, they’ll be racing toward the next medical breakthrough; because 100 % of their entry fees and donations raised will go to the research supported by Wings for Life.
Register now to join David in Wings for Life World Run on May 5 – whether at one of the event locations, in an Organized App Run or running individually with the Wings for Life World Run App. Your participation will help to improve lives as research continues!