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Each story shared here features a recipient of both a Path2Active scholarship and an Active Fund grant, showing the power of first-time sports experiences, and how much can be accomplished every time we start a new journey.
Kevin grew up an athlete, playing basketball and football, running track, and skiing every weekend. At 16, Kevin was paralyzed in a car wreck and knew his trajectory in life may have changed forever.
Kevin tried a number of activities over the years. However, it wasn’t until he tried monoskiing in 2019 that he truly rediscovered his passion for sports.
Thanks to a Path2Active Scholarship for lessons, and an Active Fund grant for his own ski, Kevin’s lifelong goal to build a life around skiing came within reach.
Two years later, Kevin manages Ignite Adaptive Sports, an adaptive skiing program that welcomes over 400 people with disabilities to the ski slopes every year.
“This was my dream as a kid, and for decades I thought it was impossible. I finally feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do.”
Makenzie grew up on a ranch in Idaho, which meant being active was not optional. However, a car accident in August, 2006 left her unable to move or speak for months.
Luckily, she has since enjoyed a life full of skiing, tennis, and handcycling. But many sports left her feeling reminded of her disability, because she couldn’t participate on an even playing field.
In 2021, Makenzie received a Path2Active scholarship to experience offroad handcycling in Jackson Hole, WY. She instantly fell in love.
“For me, it has been a way to feel normal again. Offroad handcycling gives me access to community in a place where there aren’t many people in wheelchairs.”
Mak is now weeks away from receiving her very own offroad handcycle, supported by an Active Fund grant.
John was a TV & film camera operator and running coach for close to 20 years, but a surfing accident in 2019 left his entire life & career in question. Thanks to an incredibly supportive crew, John was back at work only eight months later.
With a Path2Active scholarship from the KBF, he was learning to handcycle only a few months after that. “Path2Active was the ice breaker; ‘okay, I can do this – this fits into my lifestyle.’”
From receiving an Emmy nomination for his crew’s work on The Daily Show, to coaching running from his KBF-granted adaptive bike, John now sees his life as validation that a disability doesn’t have to stand in the way of your dreams.
“I’m so thankful to my family, my coworkers, and organizations like the KBF. They help me prove that you can still do what you love, and you can excel at it.”
Gerritt is a lifelong daredevil and grew up dirt biking in rural Oregon. A dirt biking accident would permanently change how his adventures looked, but it didn’t keep him down for long.
A year after his injury, Gerritt was back out on the trails, learning to ride an offroad handcycle through a Path2Active Scholarship.
After a summer mastering a beginner setup, Gerritt was ready for an Active Fund grant for his own handcycle.
Now, Gerritt lives the van life, racing in triathlons and marathons, and is training for an Ironman. He dreams of driving a trailer of equipment around to introduce anyone and everyone to adaptive sports.
“I remember being with my son for those first few lessons. It was big for both of us. I wasn’t just going to be sad in a chair forever.”
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