DOWNINGTON, PA, June 1, 2021 -- The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), in partnership with the Burrows Hill Foundation, and Catrike, is pleased 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 active and exercise despite their progressive disabilities.
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.
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.
"We are honored that people living with Ataxia have trusted Catrike to provide trikes for years through the AAI, and we take pride in being able to help people of all abilities experience the joy and freedom of cycling,” says Mark Egeland, General Manager of Catrike.
The AAI has provided equipment for 86 individuals since 2009. As the lead sponsor, The Burrows Hill Foundation generously provided the funding for the 2022 AAI. In 2022, the AAI funded 5 grants for adaptive cycling equipment, including four Catrikes. The recipients are: Judith Trivett of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Karen Hunt of Clyde, North Carolina, Michael Kelly of Bainbridge Island, Washington, Nora Moser of Gig Harbor, Washington, and Shandra Trantham of Gainesville, Florida.
Rolf Hill, from The Burrows Hill Foundation burrows-hill.org, added, “The Burrows Hill Foundation is honored to work with the AAI again this year. We are so proud to be able to help these five worthy recipients receive recumbent trikes.”
A 2022 AAI recipient, Shandra Trantham, described her ride when she borrowed a Catrike for the rideATAXIA Gainesville event, “I only signed up for 2 miles out and 2 back, but at the halfway point I felt too alive and free to cut my adventure short. In everything I try to do to stay active, my legs are what holds me back. On the trike, my legs were what powered me to move, and the joy I felt from that could not be capped.”
Visit curefa.org/aai for more information and to view more photos of past recipients. The next application cycle begins in Spring 2023.