DOWNINGTON, PA, June 2019 - The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), the Burrows Hill Foundation, Catrike, The Texas Irish Foundation, and UVA Sun Systems have partnered once again to offer adaptive cycling equipment through Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI). The AAI is a unique program providing adaptive cycling equipment to people with ataxia who have demonstrated a strong desire to stay healthy and fit despite their progressive disabilities.

"Catrike supports people who want to remain active no matter their level of ability. We are proud to be part of this continued partnership." - Mark Egeland, GM, Catrike.

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.

"We are passionate about helping others, and we are passionate about cycling. The AAI is a powerful combination of the two, and we are proud to be part of it." - Scott Carson, Texas Irish Foundation.

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.

"I no longer grieve the loss of all the activities I can no longer do like run and ski. I focus on what I can do,and I feel I can still do a lot. Being physically active has made me more resilient and models to my kids that ataxia is just a diagnosis but not my life." says 2019 AAI recipient Carrie Thurston.

This year, the AAI was sponsored by Catrike, UVA Sun Systems, The Texas Irish Foundation and The Burrows Hill Foundation. The Burrows Hill Foundation generously provided over 60% of the funding for the 2019 AAI.

"The Burrows Hill Foundation is aware of how important it is for those with ataxia to stay active and healthy, and we are honored to be able to help provide adaptive cycling equipment to these worthy applicants."

The AAI has provided equipment for 62 individuals since 2009. In 2019, the AAI funded 9 grants for adaptive cycling equipment to athletes from 6 states and 3 countries including: Allison Dana of Fort Mill, South Carolina, Carrie Thurston of British Columbia, Canada, Geraint Williams of Wales, United Kingdom, Jarrod Poston of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Justin Bolinger of Jordan, Montana, Michael Yuan of Wilsonville, Oregon, Rick Reyes of Juneau, Alaska, Ryan Slade of Lakeway, Texas, and Yasin Rehmanji of Toronto, Canada

Visit for more information and to view more photos of past recipients. The next application cycle begins in Spring 2020.

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 |