Story by LivAbility Creative Team
Illustration by John Beaubien
Welcome to the premiere edition of LivAbility in the roaring 2020s! Many of our stories this edition follow incredible characters consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s thought to be possible. The future is looking very bright as we enter this decade with their remarkable passion and determination in our minds.
2020 is a big year (Paralympics/Census/Election) so we thought LivAbility would start out with a bang, too!
In our story about Todd Key, we’re reminded that one can reach their athletic prime at any age as the 58-year-old para-cyclist rides into 2020 as one of the highest-ranking cyclists in the world. Kasey Kaler tells his story of pedaling away from addiction and riding off into total freedom.
A sniper’s bullet could not stop retired Navy Holly Katke’s relentless work ethic as she enters this new decade training to compete in the 2020 Warrior Games while also working to help solve environmental issues. Read Sarah Farrell’s impressive story on how Katke balances being a veteran, an athlete, and a mother on a quest to improve our planet’s oceans.
Going by “The Autistic Barber,” C.J. Hernandez attributes his ability to deliver precise and detailed haircuts to his autism. Hernandez dons his disability like the cape of a superhero as he also uses social media as a platform to inspire those with autism, proving one can make a career out of their passion.
The incredible drive we see in these stories isn’t just limited to humans with disabilities, but pets as well. From New Mexico, Maxwell, a dog with degenerative myelopathy, is as energetic and active as any other dog thanks to the work of Rescued Rollers, a nonprofit that helps pets with disabilities receive the equipment they need, like wheelchairs as told by our own Laura Stack.
We also happily welcome a new partnership between Phoenix Rising and our power soccer program. The alliance becomes just the second of its kind in the U.S. and we cannot wait to see what comes of it.
At the beginning of 2019, our team identified a few goals, one of them being to introduce more illustrations to pair with our fantastic photos and stories. This magazine is a perfect blend of both, mixing the incredible work of people on our creative team (Estefania Cavazos, Loren Worthington, and Summer Sorg) with other talented artists, i.e. Alison Baionno and Marieke Davis. We hope you enjoy their work as much as we do.
We also introduce a new icon to our readers. At the end of some stories, you will notice an icon similar to our Ability360 arrow with a cursor in the bottom right corner. This icon indicates the story has an accompanying video.
*Editor’s Note: The online version of “Even Arizona has Adaptive Skiing” in Edition 18 corrects an inadvertent mischaracterization of who initially started the “Skiable” snow skiing program at the Arizona Snowbowl.