A tricycle design and manufacturing company, Catrike, has been dramatically improving the lives of individuals affected by the rare and genetic disease, Friedreich's Ataxia (FA). Recognizing the company's many contributions to the FA community, Catrike has been honored as Partner of the Year by the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.
(Also called FA or FRDA) - Friedreich's ataxia is a rare inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. In Friedreich's ataxia the spinal cord and peripheral nerves degenerate, becoming thinner. The cerebellum, part of the brain that coordinates balance and movement, also degenerates to a lesser extent. This damage results in awkward, unsteady movements and impaired sensory functions. The disorder also causes problems in the heart and spine, and some people with the condition develop diabetes. The disorder does not affect thinking and reasoning abilities (cognitive functions). It manifests in initial symptoms of poor coordination such as gait disturbance; it can also lead to scoliosis, heart disease and diabetes. The disease progresses until a wheelchair is required for mobility. Its incidence in the general population is roughly 1 in 50,000.
Non-profit Foundation Fighting Rare Disease Names Cycling Company Partner of the Year
There is nothing like the freedom of wheels on the open road moving under one's own power. To many people, the feeling of riding a bicycle is something that is taken for granted. However, this is significant for individuals affected by Friedreich's Ataxia (FA), a genetic, degenerative and life-shortening neuromuscular disease.
FA is expressed by a loss of balance/coordination, eventual confinement to a wheelchair, and development of cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition. FA affects one in 50,000 people worldwide and currently there is no treatment or cure.
For individuals with FA, loss of neuromuscular coordination makes riding a two wheeled bicycle nearly impossible. However, Florida based company, Catrike, has helped to change that. Catrike develops and produces recumbent tricycles, which offer a unique riding experience and allows people with balance and movement disorders like FA to move freely again . (Catrike's official website with images and videos of their products can be found here: www.catrike.com).
The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) has selected Catrike as their Partner of the Year to honor the company's work in support of the organization's mission to treat and cure FA.
The FARA Partner of the Year Selection Criteria includes:
Catrike and their employees have fielded a team of riders and volunteers for FARA's annual Ride Ataxia Orlando cycling fundraiser in Clermont, Fla.
They have also raised awareness and support for FA by promoting the event to their client community and inviting FARA to participate in Catrike's Annual Owner Rally.
Catrike is also one of the primary contributors to the Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI) - a FARA program that provides adaptive cycling equipment to those who need it through a competitive application process.
With Catrike's input, the program has awarded a total of 19 Catrikes to people who would not otherwise be able to ride.
Catrike is improving the lives of people in the FA community by increasing access to trikes, which help people with FA remain active despite the debilitating disease.
FARA presented Catrike with their Partner of the Year Award on Sunday, Nov. 2 at their Ride Ataxia Orlando event in Clermont, Fla.
The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is a national, public, 501(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to curing Friedreich's ataxia (FA) through research. FARA grants and activities provide support for basic and translational FA research, pharmaceutical/ biotech drug development, clinical trials, and scientific conferences. FARA also serves as a catalyst, between the public and scientific community, to create worldwide exchanges of information that drive medical advances. For more information about FARA, visit them online at www.curefa.org
Ride Ataxia is a cycling event which has raised over 3 million dollars since it began in 2007. Ride Ataxia events are held in, in six states: Texas, Illinois, California, Washington, Pennsylvania and Florida and was founded by Kyle Bryant who is living with FA.