A Little Background.. 

     If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that I have recently received a confirmed diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MG).  I’ll go into more about WHAT this fun little disease is all about in a future blog post.  But basically, it’s a neuromuscular autoimmune that causes muscle weakness.  For me, the major muscles affected are those in my legs, my diaphragm, and the mouth/throat muscles responsible for eating/swallowing/speaking.  What this means, is that for the last 6 years, I have not been able to be active – no running or biking.  Over the summer last year, I was able to try a hand cycle.  My upper body (aside from the diaphragm causing some mild breathing difficulties) is unaffected.  I could ride a bike again!!!  Ever since, I have been on a mission to acquire a hand cycle.  However, hand cycles are a bit cost prohibitive with most mainstream ones starting at about $2,000.

Opportunity Knocks 

      Fast forward to November of last year when I was approached by Julie of The Homeland Heroes Foundation and asked if I would be interested in submitting an application to potentially be awarded a hand cycle.  Of course I said yes!!!  As part of this award however, the recipient would be required to participate in the Run for the Troops 5K in April.  But we wouldn’t be running – we’d be in our hand cycle.  The first week of January I was notified that I was 1 of 2 recipients chosen to be awarded a hand cycle.  These hand cycles (at least mine) is being sponsored by Schneider-Electric. Through Julie’s hard work with making it possible to have this opportunity to race in the Run for the Troops (which raises money for Homes for Our Troops), I have been given the gift of independence and the ability to be active again.  I was able to select what kind of hand cycle I wanted and it is being custom made for me based on my height/weight and needs.  I am INCREDIBLY excited to be getting a Lasher ATH.  It’s a hand cycle made for riding trails which is what is mostly available in my area. 

Raising Money for the 5K

     As a result of this hard work and amazing opportunity, while not required as part of the award, I’ve opted to raise money for both organizations.  All funds donated will be split between The Homeland Heroes Foundation and Run for the Troops.  The Lasher hand cycle base model starts at just under $5,000.  I know this is an incredibly loft goal, but I thought it would be pretty amazing if I could raise that much for these organizations that are affording me the ability to get one.  Right now, the goal on my Fundly page is set for $2,500.  I have 82 days to raise this money.  Almost 3 months to train and fund raise.  What do you think???  Are you going to help me support these organizations that support me and other Wounded Warriors?


About the Organizations 

     The Homeland Heroes Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New Hampshire.  They provide ongoing re-acclamation support to active duty military, veterans and their families. This comes in the form of housing assistance, job search help, housewares and furniture acquisition through donations and so much more. For more information on their mission, please visit their website. http://homelandheroesfoundation.org/about-us.html

     Run for the Troops is an event that was created to raise money for  Homes for our Troops build homes engineered for the specific unique needs of our severely injured soldiers.  In addition to raising funds to benefit Homes for Our Troops, their mission has expanded to support veteran services provided by Ironstone Farms, Brides Across America and Veterans Northeast Outreach Center.

     Shawna is a ceramic sculptor and mixed media artist who loves sharing her passion with others. She is a teaching artist and a strong advocate for the arts being accessible to all. You can support this project by checking out her Patreon page HERE  and become a patron today. As a patron/subscriber, you’ll receive exclusive content, sculpting tips and good times to be had by all!

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