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It started with a dream...

Over 25 years ago, Rick Hansen had a dream to prove the potential of people with disabilities and to make communities more accessible and inclusive. Inspired by a deep-seated belief that anything is possible, Rick's "big dream" took shape in the form of the Man In Motion World Tour. For 26 months, he and his team wheeled more than 40,000km through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities.

Following the Tour, Rick established the Rick Hansen Foundation to continue his quest for an accessible and inclusive society and a cure for spinal cord injury. Under Rick’s leadership, the Foundation functions as a social innovator, finding collaborative solutions to challenges in the community and the resources necessary to implement those solutions. To date, the Foundation has raised more than $300 million towards removing barriers and funding research for spinal cord injury.

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Celebrating the completion of the Man In Motion World Tour, 1987.


Bringing the SCI community together

Rick also nurtured a dream of true collaboration across the SCI community. In 2007, his dream began to be realized when the SCI Network was established with funding from the federal government invested through the Rick Hansen Foundation. Three initiatives evolved — the SCI Solutions Alliance, the Rick Hansen SCI Registry, and the SCI Translational Research Network, which was funded by a $30 million investment from Health Canada.

Establishing the Rick Hansen Institute

In 2008, a decision was made to combine these three entities into a single organization, to more effectively and efficiently address the priority needs and generating solutions for people with SCI. These three organizations became known as the Rick Hansen Institute.

The Rick Hansen Institute incorporated in March 2009. We received charitable status from Canada Revenue Agency in January 2010 and operate as an independent organization.

RHI exists today because of Rick’s leadership, tenacity and his unparalleled ability to achieve “the impossible.” It is his vision that continues to motivate all those working together to reduce the impact of SCI and improve the quality of health of those living with a SCI.

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