The past: 25 years of progress
Twenty-five years ago Rick Hansen had a dream - to make the world more accessible and inclusive and to find a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI). Inspired by a deep-seated belief that anything is possible, Rick's dream took shape in the form of the Man In Motion World Tour (MIMWT). For 26 months he and his team wheeled over 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The completion of this epic Tour was a testament to willpower, physical prowess and the ability to lead a seemingly impossible campaign. It was the beginning of a lifelong and selfless journey to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Through the Foundation that bears his name, more than $250 million has been raised to accelerate progress towards a cure for SCI, and a more accessible and inclusive world.
The Present: One Inspires Many
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the MIMWT. Moving from one Man In Motion to Many In Motion, it is a global invitation to join Rick in his journey towards a cure and a more inclusive society as he inspires a new generation to be difference makers - to dream, to take action, to continue to change the world.
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour, international and national events and activities are taking place.
- The International Program is a global call to action to inspire further progress through securing international partnerships and to recognize outstanding achievements in the areas of finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and creating accessible communities. Events are taking place from winter 2010 through spring 2011, reaching out to Jordan, Israel, Australia, China and the United States - announcing collaborative partnerships and recognizing difference makers in those countries.
- The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will re-trace the Canadian segment of the original Man In Motion World Tour. Starting in Newfoundland and travelling westward to British Columbia, the nine-month relay will cover 12,000 kilometres, and visit over 600 communities from coast to coast - in every province and territory. With over 7,000 participants, this exciting and inspiring journey will celebrate and showcase Canadians who are the pride of their communities, recognizing everyday heroes, including youth, who are making a difference in the lives of others and who motivate us all to better our country and our world.
- The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Awards recognize individuals who have made a significant impact in the area of accessibility, researchers who have advanced discoveries related to SCI research, community leaders and youth who have put "service above self" to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others.
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- Shaping the next generation of SCI research, Interdependence 2012 is a three-day international conference and exposition where more than 40 healthcare and research facilities from around the global will showcase their work through speaker presentations, targeted workshops and product exhibits. Join a global conversation on how to advance research and implement new best practices at this unique event. May 15-17, 2012, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
- As the spectacular finale of the 25th Anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick Hansen Celebration 25 will recognize difference makers and everyday heroes while inspiring a new generation to challenge what is and to envision what can be. This incredible evening features performances by award-winning Canadian artists, including David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden, Sean Jones, Marianas Trench, The Canadian Tenors, Johnny Reid, One More Girl, Don Alder and spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan. David Suzuki, Craig Keilburger and Paralympian Lauren Woolstencroft will join the celebration.
The Future: Champion for Social Change
Twenty-five years of work has resulted in many accomplishments. Rick Hansen has become a catalyst for unprecedented change in society's attitudes, bringing leadership and relentless focus to improving the quality of life of people with SCI and building an accessible world.
While extraordinary progress has been made in the last 25 years, Rick continues to look to the future to engage a global community of difference makers who will join Rick in accelerating progress toward a more healthy and inclusive world.