New Challenged Athletes Foundation Grantees

In November 2020, ElliptiGO had the opportunity to give back, partnering with The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) whose mission is to serve people with physical disabilities through sport and fitness with meaningful grants. Over the last 27 years, they have given over 30,000 grants to individuals with permanent physical disabilities worldwide. As part of this partnership, we donated 20% of ElliptiGO Bike sales for the month of November, with the goal of $70,000 in the form of bikes and Fluid 365 Stationary Trainers

The first recipient of the CAF/ElliptiGO grant was Gretchen Evans, our March Rider of the Month. The fun and inspiration continues. We welcome you to meet our next round of grant recipients.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans CAF Grant RecipientBob has had a passion for being active ever since he was a teenager — from skiing, to running to rollerblading. For Bob the ability to exercise is a “renewal of his spirit.” With a career as Command Chaplain for the Navy, Bob faced the physical consequences of that demanding job several years after retirement. After surgery on both knees, Bob was unable to run or ski. He was then diagnosed with a compressed disk in his back, limiting his enjoyment of activities that require sitting or other strains to his back. With the grant and his new ElliptiGO bike, Bob is excited to now be able to ride and train daily. 

“I am overwhelmed with this grant,” Bob said. “No longer will my back, knees or wrists ache. This is true liberation — getting back as close to running again as possible, this is where I find my best balance of mind, body and spirit!”

Bob’s current fitness goals are to drop ten pounds, increase his cardiovascular and lung capacities and to challenge himself to extend his training time to two hours. 

He and his wife, Gretchen (our March Rider of the Month), hope to take long rides throughout the country together soon.

Elizabeth Lutz

Elizabeth appreciates the perspective gained by spending hours active outdoors. She has a passion for sports and loves connecting to others through fun competition. Due to traumatic injuries, she has been limited in her physical activities. In 2011, a knife-wielding attacker assaulted Elizabeth while working as a counselor to a group of developmentally disabled and special needs young adults. Prior to the incident she taught yoga, basketball and badminton. 

“I am ready to recover and give back and I hope my story will help others. I was hurt while helping other people and now I need to find out what I am capable of,” she said. 

One of Elizabeth’s goals is to learn how to surf.

Elizabeth looks forward to joining the ElliptiGO community and to make daily progress on her training.

“It will be a while before I’m strong enough to ride outside — but my goal is to participate in the ElliptiGO community events. I know that more goals will arise as I get stronger. For now I’m thrilled to be training on my new 8C and stationary trainer one minute at a time.”

Dan Kosick

Dan is an above-the-knee amputee. Before he lost his right leg to cancer at age 15, he was very involved with sports. Dan decided then that he would never let his physical disability stop him from enjoying sports and living an active lifestyle. Dan Kosick is a CAF Grant Recipient

Dan’s determination earned him a spot on the US Adaptive Ski Team and he competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Paralympics. Over the past two decades, Dan has competed in dozens of trail, road and obstacle course races, and completed some of the most challenging hiking trails in the country. 

High-mileage running and hiking is tough on Dan’s body and also requires him to use a very specific prosthesis. Dan couldn’t be more excited to integrate an ElliptiGO bike into his training.

“The ElliptiGO will allow me to train for these events in a less damaging way to my body. Now, I can wear my normal prosthesis, hop on the ElliptiGO and ride it to work and not worry about having to interchange my prosthetic when I get there,” he said.

This is just the beginning for Dan and his physically demanding adventures. He intends to keep challenging himself and his limits through 20-plus mile day hikes and ultra trail running events. For more on Dan and his inspiring efforts, check out this video released in 2018.

Rob Nesbit

Rob Nesbit is a CAF Grant Recipient

Legally blind from birth, Rob has sought to challenge the boundaries of his physical disability since childhood. He has been able to spend countless hours active outdoors, cycling 2,000 miles each year and hiking an additional 500 miles a year.  Due to his vision changes, these numbers are down from previous years of 4,000 miles. Rob can no longer drive and he relies on public transportation to reach gyms and trails.

“My primary goal is to seek an active and healthy lifestyle however I can,” he said. 

He’s excited to train with his new ElliptiGO bike and Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer

“Having the ElliptiGO eliminates the need to get to a gym or fitness center,” Rob said. “I plan on utilizing the new setup to improve and increase my cardio and endurance.” 

With this fitness he plans on training for a 35-mile ride at the end of August to help raise money for physically disabled athletes in Utah.

James Gilliard

James Gilliard is a CAF Grant RecipientJames has competed as a visually-impared athlete since 2014. His accomplishments are numerous, including 62 ParaTriathalons with six podium finishes in the last seven years. And James isn’t stopping there. 

This year, his goals are to qualify for and excel at the ParaTriathalon Nationals in Long Beach and to successfully complete his first 70.3 relay. 

Currently, James competes with a guide and does the same while riding around town for fun and exercise. James’ determination to accomplish his goals carries him through the everyday difficulties. 

He hopes to build strength for running and biking using his ElliptiGO year round with the Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer. 

“I look forward to seeing an improvement with both disciplines as I build up my use of the ElliptiGO bike,” he said.

Richard Ah-Siu

When Richard was 4-years-old he was diagnosed with two retina detachments that caused him to lose vision in his right eye. Eventually he lost total vision in his left eye by the age of 31 due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). 

“As a young person, I always loved the competition that sports brought me. Being able to compete at a high level has always been an interest of mine,” said Richard. Richard Ah-Siu is a CAF Grant Recipient

Richard enjoys a good competition from the basketball court, to the chessboard to his current passion for goalball. He competed in multiple United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) goalball tournaments the past two seasons. Richard aims to go even further with goalball, some day competing in the Paralympic Games.

“My interests are raising a wonderful bunch of kids, making every day a pleasant one for my wife and competing at a high level at goalball and any other blind sports that I have yet to learn.” he said.

It is important to Richard that he never stops inspiring his five kids with his motivation and conviction. 

Richard is excited to use the ElliptiGO and stationary trainer to help maximize the potential of his physical goals. He hopes to build cardio and endurance and to lose about 25 pounds. Richard knows that this training will shape his future as an athlete.

We are so honored to hear your stories! Go out and crush those goals and keep inspiring athletes everywhere.

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