DOWNINGTOWN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), in partnership with The FA Project, Catrike, The Melting Pot, and UVA Sun Systems are pleased to announce the 2012 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 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 2012 AAI was funded by The FA Project, Catrike, The Melting Pot, and UVA Sun Systems.
The 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. Individuals 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.
The AAI program has experienced steady growth in both funding and the number of applications received since its 2009 inception. In 2012, the AAI more than doubled its impact from the previous year, providing funding for adaptive cycling equipment to seven individuals throughout the country.
The 2012 AAI recipients are Crystal Millering of High Ridge, Mont., Hamid Mehrizi of Dublin, Ohio, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park, Ill., Tricia Herman-Maul of Yorkshire, N.Y., Justin Hernandez of Graham, Texas, Mary Dieteman of Douglassville, Penn. and Lauren Williams of Glen Burnie, Md.
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: curefa.org
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: rideataxia.org