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Arielle (Elle) Rausin

Elle RausinIn November 2003, while in fourth grade, Arielle's parents went on a holiday to Mexico, and Arielle Rausin and her brother, Kai, stayed home with grandparents. Tragically, Arielle and her grandmother were involved in a car accident in which Arielle's spinal cord sustained a bruise, and Arielle because paralyzed at the T/11 level. Arielle's parents, Krista and Eric, made every effort to keep Arielle active and to travel as a family as much as possible.

When Elle entered sixth grade her PE teacher, Ms. Black, encouraged her to become active. By seventh grade, Elle and her father started racing in local 5K races. Ms. Black then advocated for Arielle to become a member of the middle school track team. Arielle found she loved track and loved competing. In October of 2007 Arielle and her dad competed in Disney's Race For The Taste 10K. A representative from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) saw that Elle was racing in her everyday chair. Thanks to CAF and Elle's grandfather, a custom fit racing chair was made and three months later Elle raced with professional athletes in the Elite Wheelchair Division of Tampa's Gasparilla 15K.

Elle RausinIn March 2009, Elle made history in Southwest Florida. In the quiet little town of Punta Gorda, when, after much local lobbying, she was allowed to race in a high school track meet open mile along with twenty seven other high school teams. For the very first time, Elle could race on a track with other girls.

Now, she is a member of the North Fort Myers High School track team. Elle has set a goal to compete in the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Many of the schools in South West Florida are now welcoming Elle to participate in their track meets. Elle races alone against her own time while the crowd cheers for her. Students come up to congratulate her for a job well done. Elle in turn motivates her teammates to keep up with her in practices. Elle loves being a member of the track team and advocating for others living with physical so they can become more integrated members of society.

- Introduction to Advocacy
- Get Involved - Stay Informed!
- Advocacy Priorities
- Coalitions we belong to

Find out more about:
- NeuroRecovery Network (NRN)
- North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN)
- Paralysis Resource Center
- Health Care Reform

Read about our advocates:
- Elle Rausin
- Taylor Price
- Kris Gulden
- Melissa Pitts
- Eva and Joseph Briseno

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders