Progress, not just motion
Researchers gain greater insight into nature of spinal cord injuries

Kevin Penny went sailing for the first time in his life two weeks ago. To move the rudder, he blew through a straw. To shift the sails, he bit on it.

"I thought it was like Star Trek when I first heard about it," he says.

The boat Mr. Penny went out on in Victoria, B.C., was a two-person, 4.8-metre sailboat designed to be sailed by anyone, including quadriplegics.

"It was eye-opening, something I'd be able to do on my own, because I'm a big sports fan. But it's more watching sports (now.)" he says.

Inspired by his experience, the Halifax man now wants to set up a similar program in Nova Scotia.

Advances like the ones that allowed Mr. Penny to sail for the first time have accelerated over the past 10 years, according to the organizers of a Canada-wide fundraiser for spinal cord research.

Rick Hansen, head of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation, launched the third annual Wheels in Motion fundraising campaign in Halifax on Monday.