Man opens rehabilitation centre in Regina to help those with spinal cord injuries
Chris Lesanko is standing and extending his arm for a handshake as the interview begins.

The small gesture wouldn't normally be all that remarkable, but Lesanko is a quadriplegic who spends most of his day in a wheelchair.

His upright position is the result of a standing frame, a mechanical device that takes him from sitting to standing, putting his leg muscles to work and benefiting from blood circulation. The increased range of motion with his arms is the result of hard work.

And a lot of that progress was achieved in Carlsbad, Calif., at Project Walk, an intensive exercise and wellness program geared to those with spinal cord injuries.

Lesanko, a 27-year-old Regina university student, is one of several Saskatchewan residents who have travelled south to access the spinal cord injury recovery program.

"When I went down there, I knew this was the place I needed to be," said Lesanko, a former top ranked Saskatchewan lacrosse player.

"It almost seems like you take the chair out of the picture," he said, explaining how it differs from other rehabilitation programs.