Chattanooga athlete needs new racing wheelchair
A young girl with a disability in Chattanooga is in need of a new wheelchair so she can continue competing in long-distance races.
Addie Ray lives her life with Angelman syndrome. She is non-verbal and has a difficult time moving on her own.
For years, this family has raced with Addie in a specialized wheelchair, but after an accident last month caused the wheelchair to break, she has had to sit on the sidelines.
"It was heartbreaking," said Addie's mom Michelle Ray.
Addie's father Chris is usually the one competing with Addie.
"We were just distraught that morning," recalled Chris.
Last month the family was gearing up for a big race when they had an accident causing their daughter's racing wheelchair to break in half.
"This is everything they have ever wanted so I couldn't stand to see their dreams crushed-- his and hers both," Michelle told Channel 3.
Living life with Angelman syndrome has been a hurdle of its own. They say competing is Addie's escape.
"It's the only time she feels like she can go fast-- her body doesn't do that," said Michelle.
Addie Ray wins more than just races.
"She has the heart of a champion. She battles Angelman syndrome every day and comes out a winner," said Chris.
She wins the hearts of fellow competitors too.
"These grown men who are racing with my daughter-- they never looked up to see who was cheering for them, they only looked at her," Michelle recalled.
The family has started a GoFundMe-- trying to raise money for Addie's new racing chair. The chair will cost ten thousand dollars and so far they’ve raised more than three thousand.
"It's coming along quite nicely. I've been very surprised and we feel very blessed," Chris told Channel 3.
If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe page to get Addie a new racing chair visit their GoFundMe page.