About the Spinalis Foundation
The history of Spinalis began in 1984, when Claes Hultling dived into the water, hit a rock and broke his neck. He became paralyzed from his chest down. At the time of the accident he was working as an anesthesiologist at Karolinska Hospital. He found it difficult to work as an anesthesiologist with a broken neck and at the same time his services and life experiance were in demand to assist others who had suffered a spinal cord injury. Therefore Claes Hultling decided to devote his life to rehabilitate people with spinal cord injury.
Along with his colleague and friend the neurologist Richard Levi and Claes Hultling went to USA and Australia to work and learn more about taking care of people with spinal cord injuries. They came home filled with enthusiasm and eagerness to start a spinal cord injury unit in Stockholm. Unfortunately, Sweden’s bureaucracy and lack of institutional power made it difficult to succeed the traditional way. Nevertheless, Claes and Richard did not give up. They received help from unexpected quarters.
In January 1989, Hans Norberg from Luleå broke his neck in an Allsvenskan league ice hockey match. His injury led to the idea of using the ice hockey World Championships as a platform to launch a Swedish sponsorship program for Spinalis.
Hans Norberg and Claes Hultling rolled out onto the ice in the crowded Globe Arena while 300 piggy banks were passed around. The Globe event brought in almost SEK 500,000.
This initial effort led to a unique sponsorship program – social sponsorship – which after one year generated an impressive SEK 5 million. It was enough to start the first specialized spinal cord injuru unit in Sweden.
With broad support from individual donors, funds and the business sector, the foundation has financed much of the spinal cord injury research conducted at Karolinska Institutet and the Spinalis SCI unit at Rehab station Stockholm. Our largest contributors have been Kinnevik, Astra and Skandia. We largely have these three companies to thank for our existence. Spinalis is engaged in a long-term, scientific cooperation with Wellspect HealthCare.
Please write or call us for more information:
Frösundaviks Allé 13
169 89 Solna (Stockholm)
Phone: +46 (0)8 555 44 127
Fax: +46 (0)8 555 44 241
The Foundation’s Bank giro account: 117-2