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

San Diego, CA, April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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.

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Össur and CAF also recognize the Certified Prosthetist practices who have graciously donated their time and services to support the grant recipients, including Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics; RISE Prosthetics & Orthotics; Prosthetic Innovations; Davidson Prosthetics; Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics; Eastside Orthotics & Prosthetics; Southern California Prosthetics; Hanger Clinic; Lerman and Son Orthotics & Prosthetics; Prosthetic Orthotic Associates; David Rotter Prosthetics; and Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research.

About Össur

Össur is a leading global provider of prosthetics and bracing and supports solutions and is part of Embla Medical (Nasdaq Copenhagen: EMBLA), which is home to several brands renowned for positively impacting people’s health and well-being, including FIOR & GENTZ, an innovative developer of neuro orthotics; College Park, creators of custom-built prosthetic solutions for people of all activity levels, and a vast network of patient care clinics spread across multiple countries, and operates from a unified mission of enabling a Life Without Limitations® by improving people’s mobility. Since 1971, the company has produced more than 2,100 patents and numerous award-winning designs, and is renowned for advancing the Orthotic & Prosthetic (O&P) industry.​ Additional information about Össur is available at, and about Embla Medical at

About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) stands as a global leader in empowering individuals with physical disabilities to embrace vibrant, active lives. CAF firmly believes that engaging in physical activity fosters self-esteem, encourages independence, and enriches the quality of life. For three transformative decades, CAF has been at the forefront of the adaptive sports movement, catalyzing change, and redefining possibilities. Since its inception in 1994, CAF has raised over $178 million and fulfilled 48,000 funding requests from people with physical disabilities across all 50 states and more than 73 countries, impacting another 60,000 individuals annually through its outreach efforts. From providing essential equipment like handcycles to offering mentorship and encouragement, CAF's mission is clear: to provide opportunities and support to those who aspire to lead active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, please visit

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Chase Merriweather learns mobility skills at the Össur & CAF Running and Mobility Clinic in Philadelphia

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