Amazing accomplishments

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

by Christina Stevens

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Amazing that a man who made headlines before any of these kids were born gets a hero’s welcome.

Tuesdaymorning, Rick Hansen entered Rick Hansen Secondary School in Mississauga to thunderous applause. The “Man in Motion” is launching “Many in Motion”: a 7,000 person relay retracing the Canadian portion of his original world tour.

It’s a journey not just to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tour but also to push things forward. Hansen saying we have come a long way in 25 years, but we are only halfway there, it’ll take another 25 years to get where we need to be.

It’s a huge undertaking: 12,000 km from coast to coast, travelling through 600 cities and towns and reaching 70 per cent of Canada’s population. What’s also huge is that every one of the 7,000 participants will be selected based on their efforts to remove barriers or because they has overcome adversity themselves.

Hansen says he is being inspired by all of the support he is getting, but he was clearly the inspiration at Tuesday’s event. The total silence as hundreds of kids listened to his every word was striking, and it was followed by ear piercing screams and shouts when he was done.

Rick Hansen meets with students at the Rick Hansen school in Mississauga, Ontario on April 5 as he announced the next major milestone in his upcoming cross-country 25th Anniversary Relay. Photo by Chris Young, The Canadian Press.

Every single student we talked to spoke of the difference Hansen has made, what he has accomplished and why it’s so important. For the record, his two-year Man in Motion tour raised more than $26 million for spinal cord research. Since then, the Rick Hansen Foundation has generated more than $200 million for spinal cord injuries.

But it’s the intangibles like today, the change in the perception of what people with disabilities can accomplish that can’t be measured – but can only be described as priceless.

Christina is a Global National correspondent, based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @StevensGlobal.

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