By Connie, WAS supporter, student, and community member
My husband, Dave Bauer, had a significant stroke in the summer of 2013. After the hospital and rehab facilities, we enrolled Dave in the Speech Therapy program at Brigham Young University. At one session, representatives from WAS presented a video showing activities they offered to people with disabilities. Dave and I were hooked! We took their information, signed up and showed up. The ingenuity of the staff was amazing as was their genuine interest and kindness to the participants and their families.
Dave started in the cycling program using a recumbent cycle with features tailored to his disability. Two years later he joined the ski program using a kart ski and later progressed to standing on his own and skiing on two skis.
A little background on Dave and our family: we were avid skiers, road and mountain bikers. Our family activities centered around biking trips to Moab and skiing regularly together at many resorts in the USA and even some in Europe. Dave and I taught skiing, professionally, at Snowbird Ski Resort and Sundance Mountain Resort. He coached several ski teams, lastly developing what is now the Sundance Ski Team.
What WAS gave Dave was part of his former life back. Having something to look forward to each week helped in goal setting and opened up possibilities for his mental health that things could get better. The joy on his face when biking and skiing with WAS is indescribable. For four hours a week we could leave caregiver-dependent roles and be friends and spouses. To feel self-confident again, being in the outdoors, with good people, good friends, able to enjoy yourself freely.
Thanks to the donations to, and support of WAS, we were able to experience eight terrific years of activity using good equipment with trained and experienced instructors.
Dave passed away in July of 2022 but our participation and support continues with Wasatch Adaptive Sports. We feel lucky to be considered family of an incredible organization like WAS.