Kyle Grant, who lives in the rural State of Vermont in the USA and is diagnosed with myotubular myopathy, has been enjoying adaptive kayaking. Below, his mum Betsy tells Our World more.
The activity is organised and led by a physical therapist and volunteers at the Northeast Disabled Athlete Association. Funds were raised, kayaks with adaptations were purchased and a single location was found. Grant funds also greatly assisted. The short film below gives more information about the organisation.
Each kayak has a paddle that is mounted on a fitting that goes on the front of the kayak, so the paddle never falls into the water out of reach. Floats or outriggers as they are also known, are mounted on the back of the kayaks. These ensure safety so no one can tip it over. Lastly, an accessible location with calm water was chosen.
A hoyer lift is used to transfer into the kayak seat. Cushions and supports are added as needed. The freedom each person has, in being able to paddle themselves out on open water, is priceless. One participant said “when I’m out here, I’m not disabled”. What a wonderful opportunity!
Kyle participates in this summer program once a week from late June until late August. He can bring his medical equipment with him and is not alone or far from shore. His strength improves as the weeks go by. Bright sunshine, a boating experience, a feeling of independence and normalcy, make this activity worth every bit of effort!