My name is Austin Lenth, I am 17 years old. About one and one-half years ago my physical abilities to function abruptly started to change. I have an acute Mitochondrial Disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Nerve Degeneration, which affected my ability to enjoy the sports I was totally involved in = golf (16 handicap) tennis, soccer (12 years in our community league). I am learning to golf through adaptive golf - using a special golf cart. One thing that has opened my eyes is how little the golf courses are making it so people with disabilities can play. There are only a couple of golf courses with the needed equipment.
For the first time this year, a Far West Disabled Sports staff person introduced me to trying handcycling. The first time I rode the handcycle, it felt like I was flying! I felt so free from my wheelchair and the views and speed of cycling were great.
I am very excited to have this opportunity to be reviewed and considered for a handcycle. Having a handcycle to enjoy activities with my family and disabled organizations will give me hope to meet other, help others and to help my body.
I am a junior in high school. I am home schooling and have help with my schoolwork because I have a hard time writing and turning pages in my books. I have decided to take the exams to graduate early and start applying at Stanford University.