Challenged Athletes Foundation and Össur Amplify Support for Athletes with Limb Loss and Limb Differences with 115 New Grants and Mobility Clinics Offered Nationwide


Press release by: Christy Fritts

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and Össur, a global leader in prosthetics, are proud to announce they have granted 115 new prosthetic sports feet and knees to people of all ages with limb loss and limb differences as part of CAF’s landmark 30th annual Grant Distribution.

Since the start of their partnership, which spans nearly three decades, CAF and Össur have been committed to enhancing mobility for athletes through state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive support, providing over 1,700 sports prosthetics over the years. The 2024 grant recipients include remarkable people like Parker Byrd, who made history as the first Division 1 collegiate baseball player with a prosthetic leg, and 14-year-old Ryleigh Farson, a determined high school athlete who is aiming to return to multiple sports after a life-altering accident.


“Össur shares CAF’s commitment to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities, particularly when it comes to improving the mobility of those with limb loss and limb difference with advanced sports prosthetics technology,” said Tabi King, Vice President of Marketing & OPS at Össur. “Together, we are transforming lives and creating a community where people can continue to pursue a life without limitations.”

Integral to the success of these grants are the prosthetists who work tirelessly behind the scenes, King added. “These skilled medical professionals also contribute their time and effort, working closely with grantees to ensure each prosthesis is ideally tailored to meet the athlete’s mobility needs. The Össur and CAF grant program would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of these prosthetic experts, who help turn possibilities into realities.”

2024 Össur + CAF Running and Mobility Clinics Scheduled Across U.S.

Continuing their commitment to supporting athletes in their mobility goals, CAF and Össur are hosting five Running and Mobility Clinics. These clinics provide expert coaching, mentorship, and a supportive environment for individuals with lower limb differences to enhance their skills.

Each clinic features renowned experts such as gait specialist Robert Gailey, Ph.D., PT, and Team USA Paralympians Jamie Brown and Eric McElvenny who offer inspiration and practical guidance.


This year, Össur + CAF Running and Mobility Clinics will be held in key cities across the U.S., including:


DATE                           CITY/STATE           LOCATION                                                                  

Saturday, June 8         Atlanta, GA                 Georgia Tech: E. Roe Stamps IV Field

Saturday, Aug. 17       San Francisco, CA        Oracle Park, Home of the SF Giants

Saturday, Sept 28       Columbus, OH             Historic Crew Stadium

Saturday, Oct 5           New Brunswick, NJ     Rutgers University: Skelly Field

Saturday, Nov 2          San Diego, CA              Mission Bay

“By hosting these Clinics, we aim to empower more individuals to pursue sports and physical activities confidently,” said Lauren Gerrbi, Director of Regional Programs at CAF. “Our partnership with Össur is crucial in bringing these opportunities to life, helping us create a world where physical disabilities pose no barrier to participation and excellence in sports.”

Highlights of Össur’s 2024 Grantees Include:

Ryleigh Farson of Solomon, KS

Granted Prosthesis: Össur Flex-Run

Sport: Basketball

Bio: After a UTV accident led to a below-the-knee amputation, 14-year-old Ryleigh is a determined athlete who aims to return to her high school volleyball, basketball, and track teams thanks to the support of a CAF grant.

Her dedication to sports has fostered resilience and a strong team spirit, qualities she’s eager to bring back to the court and field.

Parker Byrd of Greenville NC

Granted Prosthesis: Össur Cheetah Xcel

Sport: Baseball

Bio: Parker Byrd, a highly recruited high school baseball player, lost his right leg below the knee in a tubing accident in July 2022, just months before embarking on his freshman year at East Carolina University. Undeterred by adversity, Byrd courageously returned to the field and made history by becoming the first Division 1 baseball player with a prosthetic leg. Committed to his sports and scholarship dreams, the 20-year-old athlete aspires to compete as a Paralympian after completing his collegiate baseball career.

Takira Koonce of Miami, FL

Granted Prosthesis: Össur Cheetah Xcel

Sport: Track & Field

Bio:  Sports have always been a big and positive part of Takira’s life.

After experiencing COVID-related heart failure, which led to the deterioration of muscle in her left leg, she underwent amputation.

With her grant for an Össur sports prosthesis, she is ready to set new athletic goals and enjoy running again.

Sam Beveridge of Centennial, CO

Granted Prosthesis: Össur Cheetah Xceed

Sports: Running, Cycling

Bio: After suffering a gunshot wound to his leg while waterfowl hunting in 2022, Sam began resuming activities the very first day after his amputation with cycling, CrossFit, swimming, and yoga.

As he continues healing, his lofty goals include completing his 13th Leadville 100 this year, competing in the Para-National Road Race, and completing full and half marathons.


Mike Morita of Aiea, HI

Granted Prosthesis: Össur Cheetah Xcel

Sport: Surfing

Bio: After a life-altering shark attack led to the amputation of his right leg, Morita was determined to return to work as a high school football coach, completing his 19th season on the gridiron.

An avid surfer for over 50 years, he now seeks to embrace the waves again, with appreciation for his surfing gift and the supportive community that saved him during the attack.