|5/29/2020 8:52:00 AM|
"Profiles in Courage" Award goes to former Mineral Point man
The title "Profiles in Courage" has already been taken otherwise it could be used to describe the incredible journey that former Mineral Point man David Adams has been taking since his life altering accident in 2016.
It was then that David fell during a dive into a pool and suffered an injury that resulted in major paralysis from the neck down. After the accident his doctors were skeptical his future would hold and gave him little hope of any type of recovery.
But they did not know David who promptly refused to accept that diagnosis.
Fast forward to David joining the Adapted Fitness program within the Department of Kinesiology. The program is directed by Tim Gattenby who developed it 35 years ago when he also suffered a life threatening injury and was told by doctors he would never be the same again.
"Nothing doing," was Tim's reaction and instead of letting his hopes be dashed he instead took an interest in people with diverse abilities
"Diversity in ability is something to celebrate and to express, making the most of it," he said. He then made it his mission to help others understand the same.
David was introduced to the Adaptive Fitness program in 2017 by his brother-in-law Kevin Check who worked with the Wisconsin Alumni Association and knew of Tim's exceptional program.
The scope of the program has students enrolled coordinate plans of exercise and activity to stimulate each individual client and help them reach personal goals.
One of the success stories from the program is Jeff Schram who was an inspirational student who worked through a series of complications and varying abilities and was always able to maintain a positive attitude. Jeff worked hard on his fitness and his inspiration resulted in a "bounce back award that goes to a participant who exemplifies strength under adversity, courage at working towards higher goals and inspires others through example.
This year Tim cited David for the award.
"David Adams has been involved with the program even prior to becoming a client," Tim said. "He is one of the hardest working individuals in Adaptive Fitness."
COVID-19 prevented David from receiving the award in person as the annual awards program had to be conducted virtually this year. Tim said he wishes he could have given the award to David in person.
"David has surpassed what many ever felt was possible," Tim said. "There seems to be no stopping him and he is doing more at higher and higher levels of quality and fitness than we can ever describe."
David was giving to others even before his injury. In conjunction with his employer, Isthmus Engineering, there was time and resources given to build the adaptive sit skis that are now available across the Midwest, allowing people with diverse abilities the opportunity to enjoy winter and the snow through the sport of cross country skiing as the program uses the skis in the winter.
David and his family want to give thanks to Tim Gattenby and all the UW students who have worked with him the past three years to make this award possible.
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