David Mzee has inspired people around the globe. David is paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury he incurred from a gymnastics accident in 2010. But a breakthrough clinical trial has enabled him to take his first steps and subsequently walk 390 meters in the Wings for Life World Run 2019. As a new Ambassador for the Run, the Swiss sports teacher is motivating people all over again. Here, he shares his personal impressions of the charity race that supports spinal cord injury research.
When you walked across the Wings for Life World Run start line last May, you moved the hearts of over 100,000 fellow participants, plus countless viewers watching the live broadcast. What moved you most about that day?
DM: It’s such a good memory. Two things stand out. First, I was really surprised and energized by the people who ran by, clapping and cheering. I was smiling all over – just happy being part of it. The other exciting thing was to do a distance I had never done before, especially outdoors. The snow that came when I finished felt like confetti!
What will you be doing as an official Wings for Life World Run Ambassador?
DM: Meeting new people, going to new places, spreading the word about this event. Science is progressing, but there’s still a long way to go, and I hope I can give inspiration.
Where will you take part in 2020?
DM: Zadar. I have only been to Croatia for one day previously, and I’m definitely looking forward to going back. That’s one of the things which is cool about this event, there are lots of options. You can register for a Flagship Run or take part with the App anywhere you are.
If you had to pick three things that are most special about the run, what would they be?
DM: One is togetherness. You’re in an event with so many people. Another is the personal challenge. I like to see people moving however they can, and the Wings for Life World Run enables participants to set their own goals because you run against the Catcher Car. I could not take part in a traditional run, because I would not be able to cover that kind of distance, but this is different. You do your own pace, your own distance. And the third is fun, because it really is fun. Everyone is in an upbeat mood. I love sports in general, and the combination of donating money to a good cause and participating in a cool event, that’s really something.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future?
DM: A personal one is that I hope I will continue to have so many good people around me. Another, which isn’t original, but I do mean it: Let’s make a better world, even on a small level. It really matters what each individual does.
Every person who participates in the Wings for Life World Run makes a difference, because 100% of entry fees and donations goes to spinal cord injury research. Register today!