Queen's University

Taking on spinal cord injuries

[John Barclay, Artsci'04, Marc Buoniconti, and Bill Barrable, Artsci'84]John Barclay, Artsci'04, Marc Buoniconti, and Bill Barrable, Artsci'84
Photo courtesy of Bill Barrable

Two Queen’s alumni have been busy of late helping Rick Hansen — Canadian Paralympian, philanthropist and world-renowned accessibility advocate — further his mission of a creating a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury.

In late June, Bill Barrable, Artsci‘84, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), and John Barclay, Artsci’04, Manager of International Partnerships for RHI, joined their institute’s namesake on stops in New York, Washington, DC, and Miami in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s man in motion world tour. On the trip, RHI signed memoranda of understanding with the James J. Peters Veteran Affairs Medical Centre (JJP VAMC) in New York and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in Florida.

The JJP VAMC is the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs RR&D Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury. The collaboration between RHI and JJP VAMC is the first of its kind. And will serve as a template for international collaborations to perform SCI clinical trials.

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was co-founded in 1985 by NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti after his son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. The Miami Project combines basic research efforts to better protect and repair the nervous system with clinical and rehabilitation research aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury.

RHI is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. It leads the collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and like-minded individuals and groups across Canada and internationally. www.rickhanseninstitute.org

Bill and John are both proud alumni of Golden Gaels Football team. Bill was a member of the 1983 Vanier Cup finalists. He was named most valuable player of the 1983 Yates Cup. John was an offensive guard for the 2001-2003 teams.

Queen's Alumni Review, 2011 Issue #3Queen's Alumni Review
2011 Issue #3
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