Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Ataxian Athlete Initiative Now Accepting Applications for 2013 Grant Program

For Immediate Release 

Rare Disease Organization to Provide Adaptive Cycling Equipment to Deserving Applicants 

Downingtown, Penn.,(April 8, 2013) – The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA),an organization dedicated to accelerating research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) has issued a “call for applications” for the 2013 Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI).

The AAI is a grant program that provides funding for equipment that enables eligible individuals with Ataxia to start or further develop their abilities in adaptive cycling. The AAI has empowered 14 individuals through adaptive cycling since 2009.

Mary on her Top End Excellerator XLT
The AAI is managed by Ride Ataxia, a FARA program with a mission to promote active lifestyles among Ataxia patients through nationwide cycling events designed to raise awareness and much-needed research funds for FA. FA is a rare, progressive, life-shortening neuromuscular disease for which there is currently no cure.

To qualify, applicants must have been diagnosed with some form of Ataxia. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of Disabled Athletes, Ataxians, and other representatives of the ataxia community. Grants will be awarded to a limited number of applicants based on the following:

  • Diagnosis – Applicants must have been diagnosed with some form of Ataxia to qualify 
  • Applicant’s perceived character, drive, and commitment to an active lifestyle 
  • Financial Need 
  • Detailed research and knowledge of equipment requested 

Applicants are required to submit an essay summarizing their experience with Ataxia and their efforts to stay active. Individuals then select the most appropriate adaptive cycling equipment to suit their abilities and describe 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.

As an introduction to the application process, FARA will be hosting a live webcast at two different times; one at the beginning of May and one at the beginning of June. Check rideataxia.org/aai for the latest info and registration for the webcast.

Applications will be accepted through July 1, 2013. All applicants will be notified by August 1, 2013 of award decisions. For additional information and to start an online application, visit: rideataxia.org/aai.

Patrick on his Catrike Trail
The AAI program has experienced steady growth in both funding and the number of applications received since its 2009 inception. The 2012 program, held in partnership with The FA Project, Catrike, The Melting Pot, and UVA Sun Systems, provided funding for adaptive cycling equipment to seven individuals throughout the country, more than doubling its impact from the previous year.

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: curefa.org.

About Ride Ataxia: Ride Ataxia Cycling Events support research for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA); 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.