Part of the mission of rideATAXIA is to "EMPOWER Ataxians by inspiring, motivating and providing opportunities to develop physical and mental strength." Since 2009, through the Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI), rideATAXIA has been facilitating the funding and purchase of adaptive cycling equipment for aspiring Ataxian Athletes so they may start their personal rideATAXIA adventure.
The AAI provides adaptive cycling equipment to people with Ataxia who have demonstrated the desire to stay active and healthy despite their disabilities.
The AAI is managed by rideATAXIA, a FARA program, with a mission to promote active lifestyles among FA patients through cycling events across the United States geared towards raising awareness and much-needed research funds.
AAI grants are administered through a competitive application process. Applicants are invited to submit an essay summarizing their experience with Ataxia and their efforts to stay active. Individuals then select the most appropriate adaptive cycling equipment to suit their abilities and describe how such equipment would help them to reach their fitness goals. AAI grants are awarded based on the merit of the applications, equipment requested, and resources available in terms of funding.
For the 2023 AAI, applications will be available online and accepted February 1 - May 1, 2023. Awards will be announced by June 1, 2023.
Applications are reviewed by a panel of Disabled Athletes, Ataxians, and other representatives of the ataxia community.
A video about the application process (this video is from 2017 but the process is the same)
Grants are awarded to applicants based on the following:
- Diagnosis - Applicants must have been diagnosed with some form of Hereditary Ataxia to qualify
- Detailed research and knowledge of equipment requested
- Applicant's perceived character, drive, and commitment to an active lifestyle
- Financial Need
The online application includes:
- General Information: Name, Address etc.
- Ataxia Diagnosis; FA, A-T, AOA, SCA, unknown etc.
- Your story or Bio (3-5 paragraphs)
- Your adaptive cycling experience level. We are interested in funding both avid adaptive cyclists and interested individuals who are new to the sport.
- Detailed equipment request. Why/how you made your choice.
- Itemized cost of request.
- Financial Information: Monthly income and expenses for everyone in the household (parent, step-parent, spouse, domestic partner etc.)
Judith Trivett of Ocean Springs, MS
Karen Hunt of Clyde, NC
Michael Kelly of Bainbridge Island, WA
Nora Moser of Gig Harbor, WA
Shandra Trantham of Gainesville, FL
Boston Gray of Huntsville, TX
Cecil Williams of Chatanooga, TN
Chrysanthi Zouval of Pefki, Greece
George Guinto of Toronto, Canada
The Swaney Family of Pendleton, SC
Carrie Bollinger of Colorado Springs, CO
Christine Bielski of Fort Meyers, FL
David Riley of Windcrest, TX
Jacob Thompson of Minneapolis, MN
Luis Chicol Sipac of Santa Fe, NM
Mary Englund of Portland, OR
Noah Griffith of Salem, AL
Orrin Forsyth of Garden City, MI
Rodney Cook of Bellevue, OH
Sean Sommerville of Walnut Creek, CA
Ziyad Halawani of East Norriton, PA
Casey Kasselder of Pasco, WA
Carrie Thurston of British Columbia, Canada
Geraint Williams of Wales, UK
Jarrod Poston of Bowling Green, KY
Justin Bolinger of Jordan, MT
Michael Yuan of Wilsonville, OR
Rick Reyes of Juneau, AK
Ryan Slade of Lakeway, TX
Yasin Rehmanji of Toronto, Canada
Casey Kasselder of Pasco, WA
Danielle Ciccotti of Preston, CT
Francis Orlowski of Piermont, NH
Gregory Klassen of Elkridge, MD
Jeff Rose of Cardiff, CA
Julie Vallier of Gwinn, MI
Tim Hibscher of Minneapolis, MN
Vladimir Ayriyan of La Mesa, CA
Wenseslao Reyes of Aloha, OR
Zachary Hennessy of Alamo, CA
Aleksandra Zienkiewicz of Oulu, Finland
Ashlea Smith of Aliquippa, PA
Jacob Tompkins of Tivoli, NY
Joni Moore of Superior, WI
Justin Hernandez of Graham, TX
Katie Hook of LaPorte, IN
Kevin Henry of Jackson, MO
Natchez Hanson of Palm Coast, Fl
Savvas Nicolaou of Limasoll, Cypress
Funded by The Burrows Hill Foundation to Fight Friedreich's Ataxia, Catrike, Front Burner Brands, UVA Sun Systems, and The Texas Irish Foundation
Alena Wolfson of Glendale, Arizona
Candace Honeycut of Grinnell, Iowa
Endrit Januzaj of Desan, Kosovo
Greg Ostrom of Glencoe, Ontario, Canada
Jacob Ferguson of Montgomery, Texas
Jolin Kowalski of Vicksburg, Michigan
Joshua Lamascus of Marina, California
Leslie Ballard of Yuma, Tennessee
Marinda Cauley of Chatanooga, Tennessee
Lee Bailey of Melbourne Australia
Marcos Alfonso Garcia Campo of Barcelona, Spain
Mandy Davis of Clinton, MO
Tiffany Gambill of Bridgewater, MA
Sean Mazeres of Woodland, CA
Kimberly Welch of Bridgeville, PA
Billie Wells of Southfield, MI
Funded by: Catrike, The FA Project, The Texas Irish Foundation, and a donation made in honor of Gladys Lacativo
Abby and Chase Yingling of Harrisburg, PA
Carl Estabrook of Rockport MA
Liam Dougherty of Philadelphia, PA
Amanda Hernandez of Graham, TX
Mary Fuchs, Sun Lakes, AZ
Funded by: The FA Project, Catrike, UVA Sun Systems,The Melting Pot and The Texas Irish Foundation
Lealan LaRoche of Atlanta, GA
Regina Russo of St. Petersburg, FL
Eric Pogulis of Elk River, MN
Liberty Griggs of Anchorage, AK
Alex Dagley of Frisco, TX
Barry Rice of Dublin, Ireland
Terrence O’Hanlon of Cleveland Australia.
Funded by: The FA Project, Catrike, UVA Sun Systems, The Texas Irish Foundation, and a donation in memory of Gladys Lacativo
Crystal Millering of High Ridge, MO
Hamid Mehrizi of Dublin, OH
Nicole Kramer of Villa Park, IL
Justin Hernandez of Graham, TX
Lauren Williams of Glen Burnie, MD
Mary Dieteman of Douglassville, PA
Tricia Herman-Maul of Yorkshire, NY.
Funded by: The FA Project, Catrike, UVA Sun Systems, and The Melting Pot
Tom Trovinger of Hagerstown, MD
Patrick Cogan of Lynn, MA
Mary Vida of Edgewater, FL
Bill Ramsey of Lynchburg, VA.
Funded by: The FA Project, Catrike, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, UVA Sun Systems, and The Melting Pot
Nick Carbone of Fitchburg, MA
Jennifer Deneau of Detroit, MI.
Funded by: A grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Nadia Robertson of Austin, TX.