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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Help an Athlete on the Road to Rio

" You have not lived today successfully unless you've one something for someone who can never re-pay you." -John Bunyan

I met Aaron Schneides last year at Para-triathlon Nationals in Phoenix.  It was one of eight National Championships and World Championships he  has won.  Aaron had reached out to me on LinkedIn after one of my appearances at Para Nationals.

Aaron is an Ironman finisher and winner of the visually impaired division of the Boston Marathon with a finishing time of 2 hr 47 min.

In 2011 Aaron was a finalist for an ESPY award for Best Athlete with a disability.

It seemed like Aaron was well on his way to the paralympic games in Rio. It will be the first time para triathlon will be included and Aaron looked like a favorite for a gold medal. He was excited to be representing the USA.

Then suddenly in 2014 it was announced only five of the seven categories of paratriathlon would be competing in Rio. His category, blind/ VI category had been dropped. Aaron suffers from juvenile macular degeneration and has only 15 % of his sight.

Despite that challenge Aaron has completed a doctorate program at Washington state and is a motivational speaker.  Aaron works with athletic federations to increase opportunities in sports for the visually impaired.

Not only did he lose his chance to compete, but he lost most of his funding and sponsors as well.

He thought about quitting. He has had to bounce back from adversity before, and this set back would be no different.

Instead of quitting or waiting for 2020, he decided the road to Rio was going to go through para-cycling.  This year is going to be very important for him as he races in para-cycling to make the US team. He will need to compete at both the national and international level.

Competing at the elite level is expensive. Not only does he have to pay his own expenses, but those of his guide as well. Visually impaired athletes are accompanied by a guide through the swim, bike and run of the triathlon.

You can help Aaron to raise the money that he needs to compete. You can make a donation or buy a tee shirt through his web site. You can watch a video about Aaron and his journey, read his blog and make a donation.    The address is

Aaron has had to start over in paracycling, I hope you will decide to join him on the road to Rio.
I know first hand how expensive it is to compete at the elite level of paratriathlon. I  will be supporting Aaron and hope you will too!


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 165 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, England and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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