Chinachem Group makes HK$3.8 million matching donation for spinal cord injury relief following paraplegic’s epic climb of Nina Tower
New hope will soon be given to Hong Kong people with spinal cord injuries or associated mobility problems after Urban Climb 300M+, a charity climb of Nina Tower in January, organised by Ignite Community Services and fully supported by Chinachem Group (the Group), raised more than HK$7.7 million in total for the “Get up and Walk” programme run by the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). The total proceeds include over HK$3.8 million donations from the public and corporate donors, and a dollar-for-dollar matching donation pledged by the tower’s owner, Chinachem Group. The remarkable feat at the 320-metre-tall Tsuen Wan skyscraper was performed by paraplegic climber Lai Chi-wai who became the first wheelchair climber ascended a skyscraper.
A cheque for the Group’s matching donations of HK$3.8 million was presented to HKU today by Group CEO and Executive Director Donald Choi, during a special ceremony to say thank-you to business partners who made a donation and the many different parties involved in providing support for the climb, including Fire Services Department, consultant, staff members at Nina Tower, volunteers and, particularly, Lai Chi-wai, co-founder of Ignite Community Services and the climber. The funds raised will be used to support Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology’s pioneering work in developing exoskeletons that can help paraplegics regain mobility, as well as other clinical services and research work to support the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries.
“Chinachem Group is strongly committed to community care and in particular, addressing the needs of minority groups and promoting inclusiveness,” Mr Choi told the guests. “Lai Chi-wai’s achievement of climbing Nina Tower in a wheelchair was truly an inspirational feat, which we believe will encourage all Hong Kong people to maintain their spirit of persistence and never lose faith amid the challenging times. We hope this donation can help more spinal injury sufferers obtain this kind of life-changing assistance.”
The Group’s donation was accepted by HKU’s Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Advancement) Professor Norman C Tien, who said “The University is so grateful to Ignite Community Services, and the challenge curator and climber, Mr Lai Chi Wai for partnering with us on this fundraising initiative. We would like to thank the Chinachem Group and members of the public for their support of the ‘Get Up and Walk’ Campaign. The HKU Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology will have the resources to help patients deal with the aftermath of spinal cord injuries and make steps towards changing their future.”
Chair Professor and Head, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Jessie Ho Endowed Professorship in Spine Surgery Professor Kenneth MC Cheung gave a presentation about the project at the ceremony, where Lai gave the most vivid demonstration possible of what the donations can achieve by leaving his wheelchair and walking again on his own feet with the help of an exoskeleton.
The charity challenge on 16 January, Urban Climb 300M+, was initiated by Ignite Community Services, a non-profit-making organisation, as organiser and fund raiser, with Chinachem Group as lead partner. Lai’s remarkable ten-hour climb of the tower, with his steadfast determination and using only the strength of his arms and upper body to haul himself up the ropes in his wheelchair, was made all the more challenging by strong winds and falling temperatures as the day wore on. Having achieved a height of more than 250m, he encouraged supporters and Hong Kong people to “Live your dream. Never settle”.
Chinachem Group Executive Director and CEO Donald Choi (3rd right); HKU’s Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Advancement) Professor Norman C Tien (4th left); Associate Vice-President (Development & Alumni Affairs) Bernadette Tsui (3rd left); Chair Professor and Head, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Jessie Ho Endowed Professorship in Spine Surgery Professor Kenneth MC Cheung (2nd left); and Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor Dr Paul Aarne Koljonen (1st left), take group photo with Co-founders of Ignite Community Services Lai Chi-wai (2nd right) and Stella Chiu (1st right).
Donors (Chinachem Group’s business partners) of “Get up and Walk” programme
2. Hien Lee Engineering Co Ltd.
3. Chevalier Group
4. CR Construction Co., Ltd.
5. DCB Company Ltd.
6. Goldman Sachs
7. Huns Engineering Co. Ltd.
8. Midland Holdings Ltd.
9. Pretterior Works & Consultants Co., Ltd.
10. Sheen King Curtain Wall Eng. Ltd.
11. Sunley Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.
12. Willis Hong Kong Ltd
13. Ying Wah Construction Group Limited
14. Arnlee Engineering Ltd.
15. Artwell Printing Factory (HK) Ltd.
16. Century 21 Group Limited
17. Colliers International
18. Cushman & Wakefield (HK) Limited
20. Eight Partnership
21. ENM Holdings Ltd.
22. Gammon Construction Limited
23. Green and Cycle Lighting Ltd.
24. GYU Limited
25. Howden Insurance Brokers (HK) Limited
26. Knight Frank
27. Miele (Hong Kong) Limited
29. Paul Y. Engineering Group
30. Savills (Hong Kong) Limited
31. Sino Group
32. Sonik Interiors Ltd.
33. Sundart Timber Products Co. Ltd.
34. Toplis and Harding (Hong Kong) Ltd.
35. UBS AG
36. Uni-China Management Limited
37. Winnie Leung & Co.
38. Yue Yi Laundry (Hong Kong) Limited