Lara Ameen
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Lara Ameen

Lara Ameen

Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
I would like a handcycle because it would give me a greater sense of independence. I would be able to go bike riding with my family and friends. It would also give me another option for mobility besides my walker and wheelchair. It would also benefit me physically because it would help me to build stronger arm muscles. It would be like a dual benefit because then I could maneuver my walker and wheelchair more easily.

Lara Ameen
August, 2003

Lara Dena Ameen
By way of introduction, my daughter, Lara Ameen is a 16 year old 11th grade Tesoro High School student in the Mission Viejo area of Orange County. She was a 27 week premature infant and due to her determination from the start, she continues to meet her challenges with an inspiring attitude. Lara has always excelled with her academics and has always set her goals high. She has been told by many of her teachers that she is one of the hardest working kids they have ever seen. She has been an honor student since elementary school and has begun 2 Advanced Placement courses this year. Due to her orthopedic disability, it takes Lara a lot longer to achieve the same results her peers achieve, however she never lets anything stand in her way.

Throughout her life thus far, Lara has been devoted to many therapeutic choices we have made to help her meet her future potential with crutches, a walker and her wheelchair. At 11 years old, she had major hip surgery which was quite difficult and left her with severe scoliosis, which we are continously struggling with to date. However, at 13 years old, she had a Bat Mitzvah, at 14 years old received her silver award in Girl Scouts and at 15 years old served as Jr. Miss America for the city of Mission Viejo. She was selected on the strength of her outstanding community service, scholastic ability and aspirations. She is on her way to receiving her Gold Award Project thru Girl Scouts. During Lara's sophomore year, she was selected into the National Honor Society and the California Scholastic Foundation through her school.

Lara continues to be involved with activities through her synagogue, community theatre, singing and writing songs and short stories. She wants to be an example to other teens that "no matter what your challenges are, not to give up and that success comes from hard work and dedication. I want to inspire people through my passion for singing, acting and writing poems and stories."

Participating with various adapted sports over the past 8 years has been very exciting for her. She has participated in a therapeutic horseback riding program and has been to at least one of the wheelchair sports camps in San Diego each summer. Some of her favorite sports are: Over the Line, where she received 1st place in a tournament when she was 11, jet skiing, tennis and handcycling.

When Lara thinks of having her own handcycle, she imagines that she would then be able to participate with some of her able bodied peers in a way she has never been able to. It would give her a newfound freedom that she never had before. As you may imagine, she is left out of many age-appropriate activities due to her disability. This handcycle would make Lara feel more included and she would be able to be part of a sport with her peers on a whole new level. Thanks for your consideration.

Iris Ameen

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