Racing for Upgrades was founded by Michael Blaes in about 2003 in order to provide adaptive athletic equipment for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The idea of the charity was that once the soldiers got their own equipment, they, as athletes, would participate in endurance events to raise money to purchase equipment to give to others.
Over the years we've raised over $11,000 for various people. Most recently, with the help of others, we bought an adaptive cycle for Mary "The Irish Tornado" McMenamy. This year we will be working to get an adaptive cycle for Cody Iorns, a medic in the United States Army who lost both his arms in a motorcycle accident. Although Cody was not injured in theater, some folks we're working with at Walter Reed suggested he would be a good candidate specifically for that reason. Because he was not injured in theater he doesn't get as much help.
Any funds raised beyond that needed to purchase an adaptive cycle will be contributed to Mary McMenamy's efforts to establish her independence and happiness. Mary's case is near and dear to our hearts and we want to continue to contribute to her personal growth.