In June 2023, disabled athlete Wendy Larsen will set out to do something no handcyclist has ever done, to complete the ultra endurance cycling race, Race Across the West. RAW is a 930 mile race, beginning in Oceanside, CA and ending in Durango, CO. She will race around the clock, stopping only for essential needs. The course traverses deserts, high mountain passes, and everything in between. She will have 92 hours to complete the race in order to be considered an official finisher, the same as the able-bodied, upright cyclists. Wendy however, will be racing using only her arms.
Born with several rare, genetic diseases including a primary immunodeficiency disease and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Wendy spent most of her life being told by doctors that sports just weren't for her. Her body was too weak and her fragile joints couldn't handle it. In 2006 she was in a horrific car accident and finally had enough. After more than 20 leg surgeries, doctors told her she may never walk again and would definitely never be able to run. Taking that as a challenge, she set out to rewrite her story and began running half marathons. As her EDS progressed and eventually led to a spinal cord injury, she found freedom in handcycling. Many surgeries and hospitalizations later, ovarian cancer, and neurological deficits have just made her push harder to break down barriers. Thankfully she now has a team of doctors that fully support her and encourage physical activity as central to healing, both mind and body.
She will be going on this journey to show the world what athletes with disabilities can accomplish given the right support, and to encourage others with complex disabilities to use sport to improve quality of life.
This is a very expensive undertaking. It will require an entire team to get her to the start line and finish line. No one does this alone! Funds will go toward crew travel costs, equipment costs, specialized nutrition, safety items, and more. She will need 2 support vehicles and a 6 member crew to help her safely navigate an insanely difficult race.
Please consider donating. Your funds will help show the world that impossible is simply an invitation to pursue the unthinkable.
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