As our Grants Committee digs into the applications we received for our Spring 2022 Active Fund grant cycle, here’s a look at some of the Facts and Figures that make up this pool of applicants.

Of course for every statistic there are a wealth of incredible stories and people whose lives will be impacted through the power of active lifestyle.

Grant Class At a Glance

21% of applicants are female, which is on par with national statistics.  Being male continues to be one of the highest statistical risks for spinal cord injury, with females accounting for only 20% of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Applicants ranged in terms of their level of injury (where on the spine the injury occurred), with complete and incomplete injuries reported in each group. “Complete” injuries will have no remaining function below the level of injury, whereas “incomplete” injuries may have limited remaining mobility in affected regions (occasionally enough to stand or walk with a cane) but often come with a side effect of increased nerve pain.

For the chart below and the levels discussed, it’s important to understand that impairments compound as you move up the spine; a higher level injury will contain the impairments at that level and all the impairments below it. For instance, a thoracic injury may present with impairments to the abs, mid back, and upper chest, and will also include impairments to hips, legs, lower legs, and bodily functions.

Cervical (Affecting up to the head and neck region above the shoulders): 27%
Thoracic (Affecting up to the upper chest, mid-back and abdominal muscles): 65%
Lumbar (Affecting up to the hips and legs): 6%
Sacral (Affecting up to the lower legs and bodily functions): 0%

The Active Fund is available to all people living in the United States with spinal cord injury.  Our applicants range from very newly injured to decades post injury.

Average Time Since Injury: 11 years
Applicants range from within months of injury to 60 years post injury

Average Age of Applicant: 35 years
Applicants range from 7 to 76 years old

Equipment Requests

The KBF Active Fund can be used to purchase any piece of sports or recreation equipment specifically designed for people with disabilities that allow an applicant to be active.  We love seeing all the ways our applicants are enhancing their lives through activity.  This cycle’s most popular equipment requests were:

All Terrain Chairs
This equipment category includes attachments to everyday wheelchairs as well as separate chairs specifically equipped to manage uneven terrain and allow the user to get off the pavement and back into nature.

One of the most popular sports after spinal cord injury, handcycling is a relatively easy and accessible activity; all you need is a road and a bike to get out with friends and family!

Basketball Chairs
Used to participate in one of the most intense team-based adaptive sports, or simply to shoot hoops at thelocal court.  Basketball chairs are built to withstand the beating of constant chair-to-chair contact, and designed for greater stability, quicker turning and agility.

Offroad Handcycles

Adaptive Mountain Biking is growing in popularity and understandably so!  Designed to tackle off-road conditions, these bikes allow the rider to access rugged terrain including mountains, forest trails and the beach.

Requests in this category from Spring 2022 applicants included adaptive tricycles, adaptive bocce equipment, and even adaptive skydiving equipment!


A popular option in colder climates, monoskis consist of a bucket (for seating) attached to a frame with a special shock system attached to either one or two skis and outriggers held by the skier for balance.

Rugby Chairs
Designed for Wheelchair Rugby, a sport invented specifically for quadriplegics, these chairs have special accommodations including a front bumper, wings, and spoke protectors.

Tennis Chairs
In wheelchair tennis your hitting partner doesn’t need to be in a chair, which makes this sport appealing for many adaptive athletes who enjoy playing with their friends in and out of wheelchairs.  Design with turning, agility and stability in mind, tennis chairs also secure the user in the chair to keep them firmly in the seat.

Racing Chairs
Used for one of the oldest adaptive sports, Wheelchair Racing is the equivalent to any type of running event (road race or track).  These three-wheeled chairs do not incorporate any gears and must be operated solely by means of the athlete’s upper body strength.

The requested equipment totaled $702,539 with an average request of $6,000.


Many thanks to our incredible Grants Committee Members who are carefully reviewing these applications!  We begin meeting later this month to determine award status and grant amounts.


All demographic details were self-reported by applicants