Meet Our Team

Meet Team Kennedy Krieger

Team Kennedy Krieger is a special group of parents, patients, staff and supporters joining together to raise funds for Kennedy Krieger, while drawing attention to the importance of providing equipment and opportunities for adaptive sports. Individuals with disabilities will race alongside able-bodied athletes on Team Kennedy Krieger. With this racing festival, we aim to increase the number of patients who are able to participate in the races each year and open the door to improved physical fitness for those with disabilities.

Shane Horn

Shane Horn Crossfit

Shane Horn, one of our newest handcyclists, is a Baltimore City Firefighter, whose injury is a result of a fall in November 2018. He was recruited to Team Kennedy Krieger by another patient and member of Team Kennedy Krieger, Chris Whyte, while he was still in inpatient rehab. Chris gave him the ultimate challenge of competing in the 2019 Baltimore Running Festival as a handcyclist.

Shane came to Kennedy Krieger Institute for outpatient rehab in January 2019. Shortly after, he applied to the handcycle loan program, in hopes of receiving a loaner handcycle to compete in the 2019 Baltimore Running Festival. The handcycle loan program is provided with funds raised through the Baltimore Running Festival. His application was accepted and he received a loaner handcycle in June 2019. “I wanted to remain active and competitive like I was before my injury and the running festival was the first chance to compete against other people again,” said Shane. Shane did not take the thought of competition too lightly, as he became invested in the sport, training weekly, almost daily for the 2019 Baltimore Running Festival. “It's a lot of fun and it's important to stay active. It helped me mentally get back to living the life I was before my injury,” said Shane. Shane continues to race with Team Kennedy Krieger as a handcyclists and has since received his own handcycle through a grant. 

In addition to handcycling, Shane is involved in adapted fitness including CrossFit. Prior to his injury, he was involved in CrossFit at a local gym, so this was something that seemed natural to him, although he was uneasy about it at first being that he was newly injured. With his dedication to adapted fitness and CrossFit, Shane has qualified for and competed in Wodapalooza, an international CrossFit competition held in Miami FL each year as well as WheelWOD Games, a platform dedicated to providing programming and competition for all athletes, able bodied or adaptive. Through funds raised in the Baltimore Running Festival, Team Kennedy Krieger has sponsored Shane in the Wodapalooza and WheelWOD Games CrossFit competitions. Shane continues to compete as an adaptive athlete in the men's “seated scaled” division.

Team Kennedy Krieger uses this event as a funding opportunity to raise critically needed funds for its rehabilitation programs, in which innovative therapies help individuals recover from disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. “I enjoy the running festival because it gives me a chance to spend time with Kennedy Krieger staff and patients outside of the therapy building. And it's for a good cause. All the proceeds go towards therapy equipment that I use as a patient,” said Shane.

Richard Wells

Richard Wells

Richard had a diving accident in 1980, however he did not come to Kennedy Krieger until 2020 due to severe back and shoulder pain and poor walking mechanics. Richard is currently seen in our International Center for Spinal Cord Injury outpatient program and since coming to Kennedy Krieger, Richard’s quality of life has changed tremendously. He is now walking straight up and down; his walking distance and speed have improved and he is no longer experiencing shoulder and back pain!

Richard became involved with Team Kennedy Krieger through his outpatient therapy. 2022 was his first year participating with Team Kennedy Krieger and the Baltimore Running Festival, however, he has done many activities he would have never imagined doing, such as bowling, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing, fishing, and skiing. His goal for this year is to raise more funds for Team Kennedy Krieger so that he and many others can continue participating in the various opportunities offered. He says, “the best part of participating in the Baltimore Running Festival with Team Kennedy Krieger is the camaraderie” and if you are thinking about joining the team, “it’s a no brainer; the team has done so much for those with any disability”. For Richard, Hope Through Motion means to live a productive lifestyle.

Richard says, “we may have a disability, but we have the ability live, laugh and have fun”. He can’t wait to see everyone at the Baltimore Running Festival with Team Kennedy Krieger.

Chris Whyte

Chris Whyte

Meet Chris Whyte. Chris is a patient in our International Center for Spinal Cord Injury outpatient program and joined Team Kennedy Krieger in 2015 when his Physical Therapist encouraged him to walk the 5K. “He [physical therapist] knew I was motivated by goals and athletic events, since my injury was in a triathlon” Chris said. The following year, Chris then jogged the 5K and through intense Physical Therapy, gained a remarkable amount of strength and inspiration to hop back onto his bike. In 2017, Chris participated in the Baltimore Running Festival as a handcycle escort where he rode his bicycle alongside one of our handcyclists as an extra set of eyes to ensure safety through the entire Marathon course. “I appreciate the progress I have made in my recovery and want to help raise funds and support the team [and the] handcyclists and I enjoy being able to ride my bike” Chris explained.

Chris has become an integral part of the team. His wife Patty and he volunteer much of their time to the team. During the summer they work very closely with the handcyclists as they train for the Baltimore Running Festival. His goal “is to provide [his] handcyclist all of the support and encouragement they need to perform their best.” When asked, what is the best part about participating in the Baltimore Running Festival, Chris said, “The family/team support and accomplishments. It's especially gratifying to support people as they achieve new milestones.” Chris has also had the opportunity to travel with staff and other patients to the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO for mountain biking and kayaking; all made possible by the funds raised through the Baltimore Running Festival. For Chris, this event “means progress, support, optimism, family and success.” If someone were thinking about joining Team Kennedy Krieger, Chris says, “do it, there is nothing to lose and so much to gain: a whole new family”.

Natalie Sullivan

Natalie Sullivan

Natalie has cerebral palsy. Since coming to Kennedy Krieger, she has noticed improved changes in her walking, balance, and endurance. “The therapists and doctors at Kennedy Krieger have been really helpful, and I especially like doing aqua therapy in the pool.” Natalie was introduced to Team Kennedy Krieger in 2022 by her physical therapist who encouraged her to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival 5K. Natalie said the support was the best part about participating in the Baltimore Running Festival with Team Kennedy Krieger. “I’m grateful for the ways Kennedy Krieger has helped me, and the running festival is a good way to support their programs.” If someone were thinking about joining Team Kennedy Krieger in the Baltimore Running Festival, “I would encourage them to try it—it’s a lot of fun!”

Erin Michael

Erin Michael

“Working here shows me that anything is possible when you just believe,” said Erin Michael, patient advocacy manager at Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injuries (ICSCI). “Working here helps me grow….It humbles, inspires and pushes me.”

A positive and hopeful place, everything done at Kennedy Krieger is with a focus on our patients and their best interests. It is our goal to provide them with the best possible care, outcomes and opportunities. “What we do for one another here is incredible,” concluded Erin. “It’s like a giant family here, wanting the best for each other, pushing each other, and the limits.”

That drive is what Erin uses in her position as she seeks to improve the lives of our patients through access. Currently she focuses on educating the public on issues affecting those with permanent and significant disabilities on a daily basis. She wants to improve that knowledge base not only with government officials on a national scale, but with family, friends, and neighbors in her own circles. Thus, persistence, patience and teaching are her objectives.

Erin finds motivation in the achievements of our patients and athletes regardless of whether she’s advocating on Capitol Hill or working in the ICSCI clinic.

“The joy on their face, the audible cheers, the full tooth grins when they accomplish something someone told them they never would, like feeding themselves, moving a finger, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for their family, taking a step, walking a 5K or finishing a marathon, sailing a boat, playing lacrosse again,” explained Erin, “Those moments are the moments I live for, and the memories of those moments push me to work until I find the next moment.”

Pat Kasuda

Pat Kasuda

Pat joined Team Kennedy Krieger in 2021 as virtual 5K participant where she walked the 5K distance at her retirement community alongside her therapist and other residents of the community. It was her therapist who encouraged her to participate in this event. In fact, Pat spent months training for this event during therapy sessions. Pat wanted to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival to show her improvement in walking. Pat said, “personal competition” is the best part about participating in the Baltimore Running Festival.

Pat will be joining Team Kennedy Krieger in the Baltimore Running Festival again, with a personal goal of improving her time. Pat attends therapy at our International Center for Spinal Cord Injury and has seen improvements in her walking, balance and self-confidence. Pat can now reach her feet, pick things up off the floor and get off the floor if she were to fall and could not have imagined doing these things prior to coming to Kennedy Krieger. When asked, what would you say to someone who might be thinking about joining Team Kennedy Krieger in the Baltimore Running Festival, she said, “it is a life changing opportunity”.

Join The Team

Join the Team Kennedy Krieger family by participating on Team Kennedy Krieger at the Baltimore Running Festival. Choose from the marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, or a custom distance of your choice. Join our over 200-person team by signing up or making a donation here.