DOWNINGTON, Pa. – June 2023 – The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), in partnership with the Burrows Hill Foundation, Catrike, and the Texas Irish Foundation, is pleased to offer adaptive cycling equipment through the Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI). For the last 15 years, this unique program has been providing adaptive cycling equipment to people with ataxia.
This year’s AAI adaptive cycling equipment recipients have demonstrated a strong desire to stay healthy and fit despite their progressive disabilities. These recipients are Dylan McDonnell, Gansevoort, NY; Kevin Kelly, Lakewood, OH; Mekayla Holm, Cottage Grove, MN; Monica Caliendo, Southington, CT; and Ron Greer, Tucson, AZ.
“Catrike has been a supporter of the AAI for many years. With recumbent trikes, people of all abilities can experience the freedom of cycling, and we are humbled to be able to provide that feeling to these worthy individuals living with ataxia,” said Mark Egeland, GM, Catrike. catrike.com
Ataxia is a debilitating neuro-degenerative disease affecting children and adults. Friedreich's ataxia (FA) is the most common of inherited ataxias, affecting balance and coordination and has symptoms such as vision and hearing loss and life shortening heart complications.
As the lead sponsor, the Burrows Hill Foundation generously provided the funding for the 2023 AAI.
“The Burrows Hill Foundation is honored to be a part of the AAI’s work year after year,” added Sam Hill, The Burrows Hill Foundation. “These trikes are more than just a fun activity. To those living with ataxia, they are an opportunity to develop physical and mental strength and to stay active in a way they may have not thought possible.”
AAI grants are administered through a competitive application process. Applicants research the most appropriate adaptive cycling equipment to suit their abilities and describe how such equipment would help them to reach their fitness goals and improve their quality of life.
After taking a test ride, recipient Mekayla Holm wrote, "Within minutes I got the hang of the different controls, and one thing was for sure: I felt like I was on top of the WORLD. I felt so free and independent."
Visit curefa.org/aai for more information and to view more photos of past recipients. The next application cycle begins in Spring 2024.
About Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance
The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is a national, public, 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to curing Friedreich's ataxia (FA) through research. FARA grants and activities provide support for basic and translational FA research, pharmaceutical/biotech drug development, clinical trials, and scientific conferences. FARA also serves as a catalyst, between the public and scientific community, to create worldwide exchanges of information that drive medical advances. For more information about FARA, visit curefa.org.
facebook.com/curefa | @CureFA_org | CureFA.org
About The Burrows Hill Foundation
The Burrows Hill Foundation to Fight Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization established to raise public awareness of FA, to raise money for research to find a cure for FA, and to assist those affected by FA. For more information about The Burrows Hill Foundation, visit burrows-hill.org.