Wings for Life 2017
At the 7th of May the Wings for Life World Run took place. This is a run of which all registration fees goes to spinal cord injury research. All over the world thousands of people started at the exact same moment with one goal in mind: to run for those who can't. The special thing about this race is that the participants don't run a specific distance. A so called Catcher Car starts riding half an hour after the start and chases the runners. When a participant is overtaken he or she is eliminated and in this way the distance covered is determined. So you don't head towards a distant finish line, but the finish is chasing you as you run away from it.
On behalf of Project MARCH we set up a team too in order to contribute to this charity. The special thing was that Ruben participated in this race with his own exoskeleton as first person in the world to show the world that walking is already possible for people with a spinal cord injury, but that we still have a long way to go before this technology is completely optimized and with that also available for everybody. During this race Ruben was able to cover a distance of 1 kilometer, until he was overtaken by the Catcher Car. Of course this is a big achievement already, but we promise you: next year he will walk even further!
To get an impression of the whole Wings for Life World Run and to see Ruben walk for all others that are not able to do so yet an aftermovie has been made:
Documentary 'Sta Op en Loop'
On Tuesday the 2nd of May 2017 the documentary 'Sta Op en Loop' was broadcasted at NPO2. In this documentary the story of Claudia is told, who learns to walk again by means of an exoskeleton and starts a collaboration with the first team of Project MARCH to realize her dream even more. Together they start training for the Cybathlon, the first bionic 'Olympics'. But despite the ambitions and the dedication of everybody the reality seems to be tougher than expected. However, this somewhat cumbersome start forms the base of a very promising future. In case you missed the documentary, you can watch it here! (Note: the documentary is in Dutch)
The trailer of this documentary can be seen from the link below:
About Project MARCH
Project MARCH is a non-profit organization which has the goal to design and build an exoskeleton for people with a spinal cord injury. The exoskeleton is built by students from the Delft University of Technology. These highly motivated students who contribute to Project MARCH do this entirely voluntarily. The Delft University of Technology provides them with a workspace located in the 'Dreamhall'.