Team CAF Athlete_Thriving

Craig Cunningham

Sport: Hockey/Running
City: Tucson, AZ
Grant: Össur Flex Run
Bio: Craig has taken his on-ice hockey experience from his time as an NHL player for the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes, and is now thriving off the ice as a scout, mentor and coach for the Arizona Coyotes. In 2016, Craig suffered a cardiac arrest during a pre-game skate. While he was fortunate to survive, circulation problems from the incident caused Craig to lose his leg below the knee.  Craig will use his CAF granted Össur Flex Run to get back into shape by training for a 5k and eventually a half marathon.
Quote: “I’m working to regain my physical activity and have even stepped back on the ice as I’m only 27-years-old with a lot of things still to accomplish.”
Motto: “Although I am missing a limb, I am not disabled.”
Disability: Amputee

Daniel Ortiz

Daniel Rugby

Sport: Wheelchair Rugby
City: Houston, TX
Grant: Melrose Wheelchair Rugby Chair
Bio: Daniel is not only set to graduate college with a BS in psychology, but to also grow in his newfound passion for wheelchair rugby. Daniel was volunteering at a local fire department when he witnessed a rollover accident.  After administering aid and calling for support, Daniel was rear-ended by a truck, resulting in quadriplegia. After a year in and out of the hospital, Daniel is back on track and supported by CAF to develop his skills further with a new customized rugby chair.
Motto: “Work hard to never give up and get better everyday.”
Disability: Quadriplegia

Courtney Godfrey

courtney raceSport: Triathlon
City: Minneapolis, MN
Grant: Össur Flex Run
Bio: Courtney is a news reporter in Minneapolis who is passionate about sports and fitness. She mentors homeless youth and has a strong presence of giving back in her community.  In 2015, Courtney lost her leg below the knee in a boating accident where a sharp turn sent her into the water and her heel hit the propeller. Courtney is looking forward to regaining her former active lifestyle, thanks to a CAF grant for an Össur Flex Run.
Quote: “Please consider me for this grant, as I wish to live the life I lived before my accident. I don’t want to be forced to give up or put off the things I love because I have one foot instead of two. I want my active life back.”
Motto: “Positivity first.”
Disability: Amputee

Alec McManus

alec surfSport: Running
City: Waltham, MA
Grant: Össur Cheetah Running Foot
Bio: Alec has vowed to not stop until he achieves the active lifestyle he once loved – running, playing basketball, and surfing. In March of 2013, Alec was pinned against a wall when an elderly driver lost control of their vehicle. After years of failed surgeries to save his leg, he finally elected to have it amputated in in 2016; the toughest decision he has ever made.  After initially thinking he would never run again, he learned about CAF and the adaptive sports community. Now he has a new Össur Cheetah running foot, thanks to CAF.
Quote: “I’m up for this challenge. I will run again. And I will not stop there. I’ll play basketball again. I’ll learn to surf. I’ll push until I inspire others by inspiring myself…the only thing I will not do is stop moving forward.”
Motto: “Never look back.”
Disability: Amputee

Jesse Billauer

jesse surfSport: Surfing
City: Los Angeles, CA
Grant: Funding to attend Duke’s Oceanfest
Bio: Jesse lives a full life of sports, travel, motivational speaking, philanthropy and most notably, surfing. He has empowered thousands of kids to experience the pure happiness of riding a wave through his foundation, Life Rolls On and in 2015, became the world champion of adaptive surfing.  Jesse knows firsthand the healing power of sports after breaking his neck in a surfing accident in Malibu in 1996 at the peak of his career. Thanks to a CAF travel and competition grant to Duke’s Oceanfest, Jesse will have the opportunity to compete in Hawaii with some of the best adaptive athletes in the world.
Quote: “The good news … my story didn’t end that day in the ocean. With the help of the surf community, I got back into the sport I loved. Your power is in your perspective, not your circumstance.”
Motto: “Life Rolls On.”
Disability: Quadriplegia

Michelle Wilson

michelle tennisSport: Wheelchair Tennis
City: Sevierville, TN
Grant: Competition/Travel grant to two tennis tournaments
Bio: Michelle discovered wheelchair tennis in high school and simultaneously rediscovered her dream of playing tennis at the collegiate level.  A cancer diagnosis and subsequent leg amputation left Michelle thinking her childhood tennis dreams were over. Michelle is now highly ranked in wheelchair tennis and will continue competing and training for the next level, thanks to a CAF grant to two tournaments this year.
Quote: “Meeting others who have also faced the same struggles, and seeing how they overcame is helping me find peace with my own life.”
Motto: “Wilsons Never Quit.”
Disability: Amputee