Providing resources, hope and security to people living with paralysis is the mission of Triumph Foundation in Santa Clarita. The nonprofit organization works to improve the lives of people living with disabilities, with much of its focus on helping victims of Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder, or SCI/D.
Triumph Foundation’s programs serving the spinal cord injury community include supporting those who are newly paralyzed with: “Care Baskets” full of resources; providing grants to obtain necessary equipment, supplies, and services; assisting with home modifications for wheelchair accessibility; leading SCI support groups; and holding adaptive recreational events.
To date, the organization has touched the lives of more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities. Triumph has given assistance to people with inadequate medical insurance and financial hardship; performed accessible home remodels; provided wheelchair accessible vehicles to people who did not have the means to purchase one on their own; and handed out thousands of Care Baskets full of resources to newly injured people. Volunteers regularly visit area hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, and San Diego counties.
Andrew Skinner of Canyon Country launched Triumph Foundation after suffering a spinal cord injury himself and seeing the need for physical support and hope. After years of extensive physical therapy, Andrew felt destined for a mission: to help others who suffered an injury like him. In 2008, he and his wife, Kirsten, founded Triumph Foundation with a simple desire: to bring hope, resources, and mentorship to people who are dealing with paralysis.
Triumph Foundation provides the following programs:
Newly Paralyzed Support
Care Basket Outreach
SCI Support Groups
Grants and Equipment
Keep Moving Forward Grants
Equipment & Supply Exchange
Adaptive Sports & Recreation
The support provided by Triumph is not just for the initial phases, when the injury/disease occurs, but as a lifelong support network. Additionally, the non-profit group is a force within the entire disabled community. Many consider Triumph the go-to organization for people living with mobility impairments throughout Southern California.
Triumph Foundation to Host 7th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival
The public is invited to attend an upcoming sporting event including 10 recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. Triumph Foundation will host the 7th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival on April 28-29, 2018 at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, where paralympic athletes will engage in friendly competition through adaptive sporting events.
The sports include: wheelchair hockey, basketball, quad rugby (aka murderball), racquetball, baseball, hand cycling, SCUBA, curling, track & field, wheelchair skating (WCMX), and a wheelchair rodeo race. Additionally, a Resource Fair featuring informational booths and local vendors will be open throughout the festival.
The non-profit Triumph Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of people living with disabilities, hosts the annual free event to introduce people who are newly injured, veterans, children, and others with disabilities to wheelchair sports. The festival also provides learning opportunities to the general public by showcasing people living with physical impairment in a way that members of the community do not often see. Participants come together regardless of abilities – able-bodied and disabled alike – to take part in a weekend of free activities and games.
The Wheelchair Sports Festival is part of the Paralympic Gateway to Gold, a talent identification program that introduces Paralympic-eligible athletes to sports, acts as a pipeline to competition, and is often the first step toward the podium representing the U.S. Paralympic Team.
“This is Triumph’s major event of the year giving people with disabilities a chance to push the limits of their ability, play games with friends and family on a level playing ground, and enhances their quality of life through the benefit of exercise, sports and fitness,” said Triumph Foundation Founder Andrew Skinner, who suffered a spinal cord injury in November 2004 in a snowboarding accident and founded the organization in 2008. “People travel from all over California to attend this event and we are excited with the anticipation of over 1,000 people to participate this year.”
Triumph Foundation is also seeking community partners to help keep the event free and open to all. To become Event Sponsors and Exhibitors in the Resource Fair, visit www.Triumph-Foundation.org/WSFsponsorship or email email@example.com.
Hero of the Week – Randi Wyatt-Billings
A native of Santa Clarita, Randi Wyatt-Billings has been working for Triumph Foundation for more than two years. She is the event coordinator for this year’s Wheelchair Sports Festival.
Randi’s work includes scheduling and leading the non-profit’s volunteer base; building Care Baskets, which are delivered to people who recently suffered paralyzing injury; and managing the storage locker full of equipment and supplies.
“She is absolutely amazing and deserves recognition,” said Andrew Skinner, Triumph founder. “Since joining our team she has been instrumental in helping us with planning and implementation of multiple events throughout the year, as well as overseeing office operations and programs.”
Randi and her husband, Dave Billings, live in Newhall, and they have two young sons, four-year-old Lincoln and 5-month-old Merrick. She grew up in Saugus and graduated from high school there in 1999.
The Wheelchair Festival, which will be held April 28-29 (see sidebar) is one of her favorite events of the year with Triumph Foundation.
It has something for everyone and many of her friends from the community are able to attend and see why she so passionate about Triumph, she says.
Another favorite is the Superheroes Triumph! 5K held in September, which Randi created last year. As a passionate runner of 5Ks, she led the effort to start a charity run, walk, and roll for Triumph Foundation.
In addition, she loves meeting people who are impacted by the organization and hearing how Triumph has made a life-changing impact. Through her work she has made many new friends and reconnected with old friends and acquaintances.
In another sign it’s the relationships that matter to her, Randi sums it up: “Everyone at Triumph genuinely cares and is loving, and makes you feel like we are all part of a family.”