Sunday, May 31, 2020
‘The Ataxian’ Shows Life is About How We React
Kyle Bryant is director of rideATAXIA, a bicycle fundraiser for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance. The ride, with six locations nationwide, has raised more than $7 million for FA research since 2007.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Kyle Bryant can’t walk because he has a rare neuromuscular disease called Friedreich’s ataxia for which there is no medication and no cure.

But even as he began losing his ability to play his favorite sports after being diagnosed at 17 he began biking long distances in a specially outfitted trike.

And, when he was finally consigned to a wheelchair, he enlisted the help of three friends—one of whom also has FA—and set about on the Race Across America, which has been called “the toughest bike race in the world.”

Filmmakers Kevin Schlanser and Zack Bennett captured the grueling nine-day, non-stop journey that started in Oceanside, Calif., and ended in Annapolis, Md., in a film they titled “The Ataxian.”And Mark and Jami Grassi will show that feature-length documentary at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

The film, which follows Kyle and his team through magnificent sweeping landscapes and some almost impossible conditions, shows that life is about how we react.

Tickets to the screening are a suggested donation of $20. And proceeds from the screening will go to find a cure for FA through the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to find a cure for FA.

The screening will be preceded by a VIP cocktail reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres from 3 to 5 p.m. in a private home. VIP tickets are $200.

And the screening will be followed by a Q&A featuring Bryant and his friend Sean Baumstark, a Sacramento man who also has FA and has a weekly podcast “Two Disabled Dudes” that encourages listeners to “live beyond circumstances.”

Bryant will sign copies of his newly released book “Shifting into High Gear,” which chronicles his 2007 bike ride from San Diego, Calif., to Memphis, Tenn., while he was trying to reconcile his then-new diagnosis of FA.

Light refreshments will be served during the Meet and Greet following the screening.

The screening is being done in partnership with Higher Ground Sun Valley, which provides recreational therapy to both wounded warriors and civilian adults and children.

To reserve your spot, go to


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