Help Paul Shaver get a handcycle

Help Paul Shaver get a handcycle

March 30, 2022 0 By Hawkeye Johnson
Written by Kimberly Corrigan

Let’s lend a helping hand to Paul Shaver – a third year medical student in Huntington, West Virginia, looking to take his handcycling skills to the next level. 

Medical School White Coat Ceremony 2019 in Huntington, West Virginia. Photo courtesy of Paul Shaver.

Shaver has made use of a wheelchair since the age of seven.

“Being disabled has been part of my identity for most of my life,” Shaver said. “Despite this, I have never let the wheelchair or spina bifida limit me in any capacity. Through perseverance, I managed to attend and graduate from Duke University and gain acceptance into medical school afterward,” he continued.

Between his heavy course load at school, clinical rounds and research, Shaver has little time to generate the additional income needed for adaptive sports equipment.  Shaver would like to get more involved with off-road cycles and hand cycles in general. 

“It wasn’t until my last year of college that I discovered adaptive sports and began to get involved in a variety of sport activities. It was through these adaptive sport weekly meetups that I discovered, and fell in love with, handcycling. Suddenly, I could go at speeds faster than my wheelchair, travel further, and travel areas where my wheelchair couldn’t,” Shaver said.

Shaver went on to discover the vast array of handcycles––from general all-purpose handcycles to competitive racing cycles and off-road handcycles and has found that his interest lies with off-road handcycles.

“I feel it gives me the greatest feeling of freedom and independence,” He said. 

Paul on the TopEnd XLT handcycle. Photo courtesy of Paul Shaver.

Shaver is active in the local Atrium Health Adaptive Sports Program in Charlotte, NC where he’s rented or borrowed handcycles for more than two years.

Paul continued, “I love the sport and being outdoors. There are so many natural bike and off-road trails around me that I would love to explore.”

Shaver has competed in hand cycle races, time trials and adaptive sports marathons along the east coast. He has also recently completed a 25-mile ride with a local bike group on a TopEnd XLT handcycle. 

“I hope to one day inspire and serve as a mentor for other individuals with disabilities who seek careers in STEM and medicine,” Paul said.

Shaver wrote, “The GoHawkeye equipment grant would help me fuel my passion of off-road handcycling by providing funding needed to own my very own handcycle. This would further launch my adaptive sport hobby and allow me to be more involved in handcycling. A new handcycle would let me go biking with my friends and family, allow me to explore a variety of trails near me and in neighboring states, and allow me to spend time outdoors doing something that I love.”

Paul with friends and family. Photo courtesy of Paul Shaver.

“Adaptive sports has given me the benefit of being physically fit and active, allowed me to meet a network of incredible trainers and athletes, and learn about sports I never thought I would be able to compete in.”

Paul Shaver
Kayaking in Elliot Bay Seattle, Washington in 2018. Photo courtesy of Paul Shaver.

For more information on Paul Shaver and to make a donation to the cause visit HERE!