The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), in partnership with The FA Project, Catrike, The Texas Irish Foundation, and UVA Sun Systems are pleased to announce the 2013 Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI) grant recipients. The AAI provides adaptive cycling equipment to people with Ataxia who have demonstrated the desire to stay active and healthy despite their disabilities. Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a rare, progressive and life-shortening neuromuscular disease for which there is currently no cure.

The AAI is managed by Ride Ataxia, 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. The 2013 AAI was funded by The FA Project, Catrike, UVA Sun Systems, The Texas Irish Foundation, and a donation in memory of Gladys Lacativo.

AAI grants are administered through a competitive application process. Applicants were invited to submit an essay summarizing their experience with Ataxia and their efforts to stay active. Inpiduals then selected the most appropriate adaptive cycling equipment to suit their abilities and described 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.

With the 2013 grant awards, the AAI has provided equipment for 21 inpiduals since its 2009 inception.  In 2013, the AAI is sending equipment overseas for the first time to Ireland and Australia. Additionally Ride Ataxia teamed up with the Texas Irish Foundation for the first time specifically to provide equipment in the North Texas area.

The 2013 AAI recipients are 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, and Terrence O’Hanlon of Cleveland Australia.

Previous recipients:

Mary Dieteman - Catrike Expedition


Bill Ramsey - Top End Force R


View photos of all previous recipients here:


About FARA
The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to accelerating research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia. For more information, visit:

About Ride Ataxia
Ride Ataxia Cycling Events support research for Friedreich’s ataxia; a disease with no treatment, no cure, no hope...until now. In 2012, the Ride Ataxia program hosted six rides welcoming over 2,000 riders of all abilities who helped raise $500,000 for FA research. Ride Ataxia locations include Davis, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Philadelphia, Penn., Portland, Ore., Chicago, Ill. and Orlando, Fla.. For more information, visit:

1 comment:

Spinner said...

WOOHOO look forward to riding with you Alex Dagley of Frisco, TX ;)

7:41 PM