Why the Kelly Brush Ride? – Paula

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Paula – a 2013 grant recipient talks about what being active (and the KBF) means to her.

The Kelly Brush Foundation has and continues to be an amazing resource. They have done far more than help me purchase sporting equipment, they have provided a community. There is a very special bond that we share as members of the KBF family. The camaraderie that I feel when I participate in the ride is sometimes overwhelming in the best way possible. Every year it provides an opportunity for me to reconnect with friends who face the same challenges as me, and every year I leave with a few more friends. These friends share a passion for sports, undeterred by our injuries, we continue to live active lifestyles. Yes, having a spinal cord injury makes things harder, but because of this I have realized that I am physically and mentally a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be. My two favorite sports before my injury were skiing and biking, and today post injury, they remain my favorite sports.

Being able to go for a bike ride or ski down the slopes means the world to me. When I’m riding with my friends, I don’t see my disability, nor do they. I feel so lucky to be free from my chair.  If I did not have my handcycle, I would miss out on so much that people take for granted. My husband and I just went to Montreal and we brought our bikes.  We rode the bike path that flows along the St Lawrence riverway, it was beautiful. I would never of been able to see this beauty, or the green mountains I enjoy every day, if not for my handcycle, and the many miles it has allowed me to cover. My handcycle purchase, and these amazing out of wheelchair experiences, were made possible with a grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation.

IMG_1932I live in the Killington area and even work for the mountain. After my accident, I did not think I would be able to ski again. With a grant from the foundation I was also able to purchase a monoski. Having my own monoski, gives me the ability to go skiing whenever, with whoever, and wherever. Always having everything dialed in to my specific needs is amazing. It has allowed me to ski many more days on the slopes and once again, it is freedom!! And I am out of my wheelchair, skiing with friends, as if life were simpler again.

I am so thankful to the Kelly Brush Foundation for helping me get the equipment I needed to feel this freedom, and even more thankful for the community they have provided me.