Partnership again provides suitable cycling equipment for patients with FA


A collaborative effort will once again fund a grant program that provides fitness-promoting adaptive cycling equipment to patients with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA).

A partnership of Friedreich Research Alliance on Ataxia (FARA), the Burrows Hill Foundation, Catrike, the Irish Foundation of Texas, and UVA solar systems continues to support FARA affiliated organizations Ataxian athlete initiative (AAI), which offers equipment grants to people ataxia, including FA (the most common inherited ataxia). Eleven grants were awarded this year.

“The Burrows Hill Foundation is very grateful to be a part of the important work that the IAA does,” said Sam Hill, a representative of the Foundation, in a Press release. “Staying active is very beneficial for patients with ataxia, and the IAA is doing a phenomenal job of helping to make this possible.”

This year, the Burrows Hill Foundation provided over 60% of the program’s funding.

AF affects the nervous system and muscles, resulting in loss of balance and coordination. Exercise is important in managing this condition.

For example, physical therapy in AF aims to prolong the ability to walk and promote a better quality of life. Such therapy includes strengthening, stretching, coordination, balance and cardiovascular conditioning exercises. In a recent study, endurance exercise prevented the onset of symptoms in a mouse model of AF

“The Ataxian Athlete Initiative is one of the highlights of our year, said Scott Carson of the Texas Irish Foundation. “We are inspired and motivated by the stories of the recipients, and we pride ourselves on providing continued support. “

The program is managed by ATAXIA ride, a FARA program that promotes active lifestyles in AF patients through cycling events across the United States. The hope is that the beneficiaries of the program will start their own rideATAXIA adventure.

Under the IAA, grant applicants submit an essay on their AM journey and efforts to stay active. They then choose the most suitable cycling equipment for them and describe how that equipment would help them achieve their fitness goals.

Noah Griffith, one of this year’s recipients, said his equipment – a tricycle – would help him stay in shape. “My disability can change the way I stay active, but that can’t stop me from doing it,” he said. “Having a tricycle means continuing to practice physical activity. It’s something that when I was diagnosed I didn’t think I would do it again. “

Since 2009, the IAA has provided equipment to 73 people. This year’s equipment included 10 three-wheel recumbent bikes produced by Catrike and a hand bike, a type of vehicle propelled by users’ arms and typically had two rear wheels and a steerable front wheel.

“Since 2011, Catrike has supported the IAA at FARA to provide trikes to people living with ataxia,” said Mark Egeland, CEO of Catrike. “We are proud to support an initiative that promotes an active lifestyle for people of all abilities.

More information about the program is available here. The next grant application cycle begins next spring.

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