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Remembering Rick Finkelstein – Tribute to a Hero

October 1, 2013

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Rick Finkelstein has passed away. Our hearts go out to his friends and family at this sad time. Rick was the hero of the film ‘The Movement’ and in that role he inspired many people to get out of their comfort zones and put life in motion. Rick was not one to let physical disability, or any sort of setback, hold him back. We’re certain that ‘The Movement’ was only one of many arenas where Rick showed this sort of inspiring determination. Thank you, Rick.”

                  – Kurt Miller, Director/Producer/Founder ‘The Movement’ – Make A Hero

On October 1st, 2013, Rick Finkelstein, long-time Universal Pictures Executive and hero of Make A Hero’s first adaptive sports films ‘The Movement’, passed away after a difficult battle against cancer. Mr. Finkelstein was 64 years of age.

An active skier, Rick was paralyzed from the waist down on a ski trip in Aspen, CO in 2004. He spent the next 6 years through nine surgeries trying to stay alive, maintain his life, and his career.

“In the beginning, they were very surprised that I had survived the crash”, said Rick. “For the longest time I had no desire to put on skis and get back on the mountain, then … I just started missing it so much”.

Courageously, Rick choose to face his fears, adapt to his new way of being, and re-kindle his love of skiing. This time Rick would utilize a mono-ski to glide across the slopes.

Moreover, he allowed for his journey into adaptive sports to be documented on film, in order to serve as inspiration to others who were either born with paralysis, or had become paralyzed as a result of a traumatic event later in life.

Mr. Finkelstein became the inspiration for and subject of “The Movement: One Man Joins an Uprising” seen in the trailer, below. His perspective, perseverance, and legacy, make him a true hero.

Rick Finkelstein will be deeply missed.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Rick Finkelstein has passed away. Our hearts go out to his friends and family at this sad time. Rick was the hero of the film ‘The Movement’ and in that role he inspired many people to get out of their comfort zones and put life in motion. Rick was not one to let physical disability, or any sort of setback, hold him back. We’re certain that ‘The Movement’ was only one of many arenas where Rick showed this sort of inspiring determination. Thank you, Rick.” 

              – Kurt Miller, Director/Producer of ‘The Movement’, Founder of Make A Hero

Discussion - 2 Comments

  • Ford Feb 22, 2016 

    SCS Page 3 February 2016
    TWIN CITIES DOCTORS
    RECEIVE GRANT TO STUDY
    PROMISIN G THERAPY FOR
    SPINAL CORD INJURIES
    SCS INTRODUCTION
    What follows is a summary of the grant that was awarded to Dr. Ann Parr of the University of Minnesota
    Stem Cell Institute. This will be a collaborative effort between Spinal Cord Society and Dr. Parr’s lab.
    The details and outline of the project will be presented in the March issue of the SCS Newsletter and will
    involve some chemistry involving the rose bengal/scar ablation treatment along with the OPC cell line
    from Dr. Parr’s lab. The $125,000 received by Dr. Parr was part of the Omnibus Higher Educaton Bill to
    support spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Her project is one of six projects pertaining to
    spinal cord injury and is further discussed on page 4. SCS funds will be leveraged with this grant.—RAS
    Project Title: Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells and Scar Ablation for the Treatment of Chronic
    Spinal Cord Injury
    Principal Investigator: Ann M. Parr, MD, PhD
    Institutional Affiliation: University of Minnesota
    Grant Award: $125,000
    Project Purpose: This project focuses on the critical need for new treatment paradigms for patients with chronic
    spinal cord injuries. One major barrier to regeneration after SCI is the formation of the glial scar. This project
    will use a novel method for neatly ablating glial scar tissue in chronic SCI which, in combination with other
    therapies, shows significant promise in improving locomotor outcomes in individuals with previously
    untrcatable. chronic SCI. The research team has successfully removed existing glial scars in chronically
    contused rat spinal cords using a rose Bengal—based phototoxic approach. This represents the most promising
    novel therapeutic approach to scar ablation in the central nervous system for chronic SCI. With a focus on
    translation to the clinic, proposed methods are compatible with cGMP manufacturing processes to enable
    seamless clinical translation of the research. This innovative project could provide pre—clinical data for an
    application to the FDA for a Phase I clinical trial.
    Copyright SCS 2016 All rights reserved

    Reply
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