Issue 2, 2015. April-May



On May 3, the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti will be one of the locations for the international Wings for Life World Run. This will be Georgia's second year as a location for runners; 3000 participants are signed up for the race.

Wings for Life is an international not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation. Their mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. WFL funds world-class scientific research and clinical trials around the globe aimed at healing the injured spinal cord.

The driving forces behind Wings for Life are the two-time Motocross World Champion Heinz Kinigadner and the founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz. In 2003, Kinigadner's son Hannes had a tragic accident which left him tetraplegic.

After this dreadful injury, Kinigadner and Mateschitz invited leading scientists from across the world to come to Salzburg. It soon became clear that, contrary to common opinion, there is legitimate reason to hope that traumatic spinal cord injury can be cured. Ground-breaking discoveries made by Prof. Dr. Sam David in 1981 and by Prof. Dr. Martin Schwab in the early 1990s showed that injured nerve cells in the spinal cord are capable of regeneration after specific types of treatment.

Kinigadner and Mateschitz set up the Wings for Life research foundation - with the goal of finding ways to cure all people affected.

World Run

The Wings for Life World Run a global running event, which saw thousands of athletes start at the very same time in 34 locations around the globe, generated €3.2 million to foster promising spinal cord research projects.The study, called The Big Idea, will test a new hypothesis of Dr. Harkemain in 36 individuals living with spinal cord injury that epidural stimulation can be used to recover a significant level of autonomic control. A special group of eight patients will be funded directly by the Wings for Life World Run 2014.This is what thousands worldwide ran for on May 4.

The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have joined their superpowers to drive Dr. Harkema and her team on the next step of their journey: a breakthrough clinical study that will likely commence in mid-2015.

Dr. Harkema's groundbreaking experimental therapy in epidural electrical stimulation is just the very start. There is still along way to go. Or better said, to run: May 3, 2015, thousands of people all around the world will unite again to run for those who can't ... yet.

Taking Part in Wings for Life 2015

Georgian companies can become part of the global movement of this unique run, which is not only sports event, but also an enormous charity project. All that companies need to do participate is to register online and pay the 20 lari fee.

Please visit for more information.