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VIDEO: Breakthroughs on the horizon for people living with spinal cord injuries

Dr. Corrina Imenpen suffered a spinal cord injury three and a half years ago.

For Mike Shaw, it was almost a decade ago.

He'll be running and she'll be wheeling when local participants in the Wings for Life World Run get underway at the bonkers start time of 4:00 in the morning, May 5.

"It is absurd," admits Shaw. "But that's part of what it's all about and it's part of the fun too. There's some camaraderie in it."

There is a reason for it.

The more than 200,000 racers around the world start simultaneously, so for people in the Pacific time zone, this is just how it turned out.

And that's not all that's strange about the race.

Each participant is just trying to get as far as they can before a catch car catches up to them and brings their race to an end.

"30 minutes after you leave you get a buzz or a notification on your phone," Shaw explained. "And it goes, 'Now you know you're being chased.'"

If it sounds like a horror movie scenario, that's the idea.

"Absolutely," said Imenpen. "That's what makes it great."

Both agree that research on spinal cord injury treatment is more promising than most people realize.

"The last ten years the research has been absolutely amazing," said Dr. Imenpen.

"This is our goal is to actually create that cure," she said. And she believes it's just years away. "Hopefully we'll see it in the next five to ten."

Shaw is more than hopeful.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

"It's not a matter of if, but when there's going to be a cure," he said.

"The research that's getting funded right now is so exciting. A lot of it's happening right here in the Okanagan."

And he said money raised in the local event actually funds projects here.

"It's a global event, but the effort we're putting in here is landing right here in our backyard."

Members of the public are encouraged to join the run.

You can download the app here to sign up.

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