Ride Ataxia Orlando was another success!! This was my second year attending and am proud to say my first year actually being IN the ride on my new handcycle!
The turn out of participants was amazing. And we came together for a beautiful day filled with sunshine, scenic rides, and togetherness. I personally was a recipient of this year's Ataxian Athlete Initiative grant and received a brand new handcycle from Top End in August so I can ride to spread awareness for FA. Others that received grants of this year and last were Lealan LaRoche, Barry Rice, Mary Vida, and Bill Ramsey, and myself. Together more than 200 participants rode 50, 25, 16, and 4 miles to pedal towards a cure.
After the rides the air was filled with excitement and friends and families talking and sharing stories. Not to mention all while eating the awesome food provided by Outback and Carrabba's. Kyle spoke to us all about the success of teams and individuals that held top places in fundraising.
From a personal stand point I felt this ride was more meaningful in so many ways. For one, I got to be a part of it and rode 4 miles for the first time ever. I felt the inspiration from others to not limit myself and ride next to them. I felt the freedom of a bike and not just my chair for the first time in years. Then more so even the ones we rode in honor of. For the remembrance of the amazing Aaron Kittel that was lost too soon and for Tom Trovinger who is recovering from a stroke who was always at our rides.
All in all the day was truly brought together for one reason, for us all to ride for a cure. With 225 riders we raised around $45,000 towards FA research!! The day was filled with more hope and love than I think I could describe in words. We are so close to a cure I can feel it!! I hope more join us for next years ride, only 362 more days away!!
On behalf of the FARA Ambassadors, thank you so much for your generous support with Ride Ataxia Orlando 2013. We cannot fight this alone. It's astounding to feel the unconditional hope and strength from family, friends, and all of the FA community.
As the founder of Ride Ataxia and also diagnosed with FA, Kyle Bryant’s proactive stance pulled me at my core. He had bridged a gap that allowed someone with a physical disability to engage in activities with able-bodied family and friends. My amazement at his ability made me realize that I might still have a chance to stay active, and not isolate myself. This new-found inspiration I felt had to be made known.
Thank you Ride Ataxia, Catrike, Top-End, and so many more for this amazing opportunity to RIDE with the recumbent tricycle awarded to me, Regina, and five others earlier this year through the Ataxian Athlete Initiative grant program, totaling 21 recipients over the past five years. FIVE of us were at Ride Ataxia Orlando 2013! The freedom riding gives me only motivates me that much more to raise those much needed research funds to find a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia. Not only can I use this trike to stay healthy by exercising, but I hope to inspire others and strengthen the FA community. I encourage every ataxian to check out this program and keep moving towards a cure! We are so close!
Donations from Ride Ataxia Orlando are still coming in. Help us reach our goal of $80,000!
And please join the fun in 2014!