The Regional Rehabilitation Center at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare honored Faxton Cup award winners Kathryn McCauley and the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities program at Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Barneveld at a ceremony on Sept. 24.
The Faxton Cup honors individuals and organizations who demonstrate, on a local level, dedication to the enhancement of the quality of life, either by setting an example of what people with disabilities can accomplish, or on behalf of people with physical disabilities, according to a news release.
McCauley was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, a genetic disease affecting the growth of her femur that led to the amputation of her right foot as an infant. She was cared for at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Mass., where her surgeries and prosthetics were covered at no cost until she turned 22.
“At Shriner’s, they believe that every kid should be able to participate fully in whatever they do,” said McCauley. “Right from the start, they want you to know that your disease isn’t something you have to cope with — it’s just who you are.”
“Kathryn endured many struggles, especially throughout her childhood and teenage years,” said Rebecca McCauley, her sister. “But what is important is that she never complained or let any cruel words keep her from her goals.”
And for Kathryn McCauley, the goals she accomplished included serving as valedictorian of her high school class, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in history and science and receiving a master’s degree in library science from Syracuse University.
Kathryn McCauley returned to the Utica area after graduation and currently works as a technology librarian for the MidYork Library System. Upon returning home, she set another goal for herself. This time, it was to participate in the Boilermaker 15K Road Race, which she succeeded in completing in July 2012.
She continues to run competitively, completing this year’s Boilermaker, in addition to the Delta Lake Half Marathon this fall.
The TRAID program is one of 12 sites in New York dedicated to providing assistive technology information, referral services and device demonstrations and loans.
With more than 3,000 pieces of equipment in their “technology lending library,” TRAID provides devices that range from wheelchairs and walkers to adapted toys and assistive software and is available to any resident with a disability in Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Montgomery and Oneida counties.
Due to the complexity and expense of many of the devices, individuals might not have the ability to purchase them for short-term use or may wish to trial the equipment before making the investment.
“If we have a device that someone needs, we loan it out so they can try it,” said Susan Bord, TRAID director. “We look at the needs of the individual and help make sure it’s the right device for them.”
Page 2 of 2 - TRAID provides referrals to potential funding sources for those wishing to purchase a device of their own, as well as access to a local and state-wide matching services for items or devices for sale.