Five KBF grant recipients share their stories

In their own words, these grantees share the impact adaptive sports and the KBF have had in empowering their journeys from injury to independence.

Bridget was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 19. She was introduced to adaptive sports by a fellow patient. “Adaptive sports and the community I’ve met through being involved in these programs have been 100% life changing since my injury. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Bridget can now be found playing tennis, handcycling, skiing, and water-skiing. “Before being injured I loved to be outdoors doing pretty much anything, and adaptive sports has given me the ability to do that again.

Quinn was always an active person. As a runner, biker, and a swimmer, much of her identity felt lost after her injury. “The photo of my legs’ cast symbolizes the fragile and empty innards of the person I used to be. Heartbreaking and difficult times ahead.” It took a lot of work post-injury to find that identity again, but Quinn has since fallen in love with mountain biking, nordic, and other adaptive sports. Last year, she completed the Continental Divide Trail on her offroad handcycle, an accomplishment that finally gave her the confidence to say “this wheelchair does not define me.

I always loved the water, and I knew I wanted to find a way to return to it after my injury.” Only a year and a half after his injury, Raymond received his KBF grant for an adaptive kayak, and almost immediately designed and built his own custom trailer (that attaches to his chair) to allow him to get out on the water independently. His mother asked him how he felt his first day on the new rig:

Free,” he said, “I feel free.

Anna suffered a burst vertebrae following a rock climbing fall, and saw her active go-hard life change in an instant. “I awoke from the surgery that fused my broken spine to unresponsive legs and a shattered identity — an unrecognizable and terrifying reality.

But thanks to an unwavering drive, and help from organizations like the KBF, Anna was quickly back out in the world. “My first piece of adaptive equipment was made possible with a KBF grant. And with that offroad handcycle, my world was reopened to rock, dirt, and the challenge and freedom you find with exertion and exploration. I learned to mountain bike thanks to KBF, but more importantly, relearned to dream big and drive hard.

Anna has since summited several mountains, conquered many adventures, and even recently completed a heli-skiing expedition with help from the KBF.

A fall from a ladder left Dianne paralyzed at 25 years old, and forced her to look at life through a new lens. “When I started being active again, and doing adaptive sports, I felt alive again.” Her new-found freedom has her sights set on bigger things, including creating an Instagram to help others going through similar experiences. “I’m inspiring others, which is something I never thought would come out of this, but it makes my heart so happy.



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