Dear Athletes Helping Athletes, My name is Lance Velasco, and I am a sophomore at Ventura High School in Ventura, California. I was born with Spina Bifida, but that has not stopped me from living a normal teen age life. I was introduced to wheelchair sports about a year ago and haved loved it ever since. My favorite wheelchair sport is handcycling. I was very excited to hear that I might be choosen to receive a grant for a handcycle. I love the outdoors and the thrill of riding a handcycle, and this is why I feel that I am the perfect person for a handcycle. I would like to thank you for your time and consideration.
Yours truly, Lance Velasco October, 2005
I am writing to introduce my fifteen year old son, Lance Velasco, and to let you know of his wish to receive a handcycle from your Foundation. Lance was born with Spina Bifida, a condition which has created a child with a huge heart, spirit, and will to live life to the fullest. He is very active, strong and is sure to participate in athletics as fully as possible at every opportunity. Last year we met Rick Van Hoorn and were introduced to his Adaptive Recreation Program at UCSB. It is here that Lance first experienced. the joy, thrill and freedom of handcycle riding. On his first ride with a counsler from the program he was gone for three hours. The counsler was amazed at how quickly Lance learned to ride and how well he did. He said that Lance was a natural and displayed tremendous athletic ability. All Lance could say upon his return was, "I want one of these bikes!" He said nothing he had done had ever made him feel so good. He next outing was a group ride from Ojai to Ventura, about eight miles, which he not only completed, but was the first to finish. He has since expressed an interest in participating in competitive rides. Lance is very well rounded and a social young man. He does very well in school and plays the bass guitar in a band. The addition of a handcycle to his everyday life would be a wonderful gift, providing him a way to continue to build confidence in himslef and his ability to maintain good health, and strength in his body and his soul. We deeply appreciate your considering Lance for this grant.