As an onlooker at the 16th Annual PossAbilities and Kids' Triathlon, Gauthier Muhire saw first-hand how Loma Linda University Health’s PossAbilities program benefits the local disabled community.
“Being disabled, you always feel like you aren’t allowed to do a lot of things,” said Muhire, who was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy which inhibits the ability to walk. “Being able to participate in a run or triathlon allows you to overcome your disabilities.”
PossAbilities is a free community program tailored to those with permanent physical disabilities. Its mission is to provide peer interaction and a sense of community for its participants. The program hosts several events, like the triathlon, each year with the goal of uniting the local disabled and able-bodied communities. PossAbilities also offers many adaptive sports, including para-cycling and wheelchair basketball. In 2014, the program even expanded to include paralympic training for elite athletes who wish to vie for a spot on the national team.
Active members of the program are also eligible to apply for grants and scholarships. The funding can go toward accessibility needs, equipment to improve quality of life, and travel to sporting events.
Over 200 volunteers and 900 athletes took part in the 2018 event which included a 5k, relay race, and triathlon for competitors of all ages.