Heinz Kinigadner and Dietrich Mateschitz set up the Wings for Life Foundation
Heinz Kinigadner together with Dietrich Mateschitz (founder of Red Bull), set up the Wings for Life Foundation to support fundamental and clinical research into the central nervous system.
Spinal cord injury paralysis is a medical condition that deserves dedicated research and for this reason, following the tragic motocross accident of his son Hannes in 2003, former motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner together with Dietrich Mateschitz (founder of Red Bull), set up the Wings for Life Foundation to support fundamental and clinical research into the central nervous system.
Wings for Life currently supports 11 scientific research projects ranging from basic- to clinical science involving spinal cord injury. In addition, it promotes the dissemination of knowledge through publication of scientific papers and conferences and is a member of the International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Injuries. The foundation also promotes prevention and a collaboration between KTM, BMW, the Spinal Cord Injury Department of the Trauma Center, Murnau, Germany an the South African orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leatt has resulted in the development of the Leatt Brace. By allowing full mobility, the brace prevents burst fractures which often result in bone fragments injuring the cervical spinal cord.
KTM is committed to involvement in Wings of Life and its aims because spinal injury remains a sad fact of life in motor sports. KTM Sports Director Pit Beirer, a former Dirtbike champion, is himself a victim of spinal injury following an accident in competition. As a sport professional he is committed to achieving goals, a principle that he also see in the federation. “In a short time, Wings for Life was able establish a network of leading international scientific excellence around one table and new, highly effective structures were set up to work on the vision to treat or even to cure spinal paralysis,” he says.
Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM Sportmotorcycle AG also lends all of his support to Wings for Life for its visionary determination in seeking both prevention and cures for spinal cord injury. “I want to support individuals who work pragmatically and in a fast and professional manner to gain more insight into spinal cord injury. I am sure that Wings for Life will make contributions to achieving those goals and my respect goes to all those who donate their energy to moving one step further toward a solution.”
KTM, the world’s leading manufacturer of offroad motorcycles also supports Wings for Life by donating a part of the profits of the sales of the “Kini” clothing collection to the foundation.