Kelly Butler has always been active. She was heavily involved in recreational athletics, including cycling where she rode in the MS 150 and many triathlons. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago, but only recently experienced significant disability due to the disease. In 2018 her symptoms worsened when she experienced Transverse Myelitis, which left her with very limited movement, spasticity and decreased sensation in both of her legs which ultimately resulted in the need to use a wheelchair.
Kelly shares, “I have had to adapt how I perform all of my daily activities--from the basics like showering, dressing & household chores to my recreation and leisure activities. Until I found Powered to Move I was limited by inaccessible equipment. Sports equipment for those with disabilities is specialized and much more expensive. Thanks to P2M I have been able to get back to riding! Kelly attended an expo last summer that allowed participants to try lots of different adaptive sports and recreation activities. It was there that she fell in love with handcycling. “On that bike I felt a part of myself that I had not felt for several months--the active me—come back to life! For the first time since becoming disabled I felt that I could still participate in activities and sports I loved. But when I began researching them I quickly discovered that purchase was not going to be in the budget for quite some time. So I "hung up" that dream. It wasn't long before P2M came to the rescue and got me riding!! Handcycling hasn't just provided the physical benefits of exercise, it's also benefitted me emotionally. Not being able to do as much as I used to has led to feelings of decreased self-worth. Being given this opportunity that someone who had never met me felt my desire to stay active was important enough to offer me a hand cycle to use really squelched any feelings of worthlessness. I believe it's important for everyone to have a tribe of like minded and supportive people that encourage you to be your best and believe in you when you are not able to believe in yourself. P2M offers this--not just in its community of people who are thriving despite a disability but they also offer opportunities to meet the unique challenges disabled individuals face trying to stay active. I am so excited to join in group rides and participate in races and events with the P2M team.” “No one likes to feel left out. Unfortunately, those with disabilities are frequently left out of recreational activities, particularly sports and exercise. Adapting sports and exercise opportunities to include those with disabilities offers the physical, emotional and social benefits of an active lifestyle to more individuals. Healthier people leads to a stronger community.”
We are excited to get Kelly riding again! #MoveWhatYouCan