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Boilermaker WheelChair Challenger Awarded Racing Chair

Feb. 10, 2014

 NEW HARTFORD – On February 5, 2014, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield awarded local wheelchair racer Lay Aung a brand-new racing chair for his completion of the 2013 Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenge.

As last year's Challenger, Aung set out to complete the Boilermaker 15K in a standard wheelchair in less than two hours and 15 minutes in order to win a custom-fitted racing chair valued at $2,500. Aung surpassed the goal, completing the rigorous course in one hour 23 minutes and 25 seconds!

The Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenge is an initiative to promote health and well-being for individuals with disabilities by providing them with an opportunity to experience America's greatest 15K road race and continue with the sport for years to come.

Aung, a native of Burma, came to Utica after spending 15 years in a refugee camp in Thailand. He lost the ability to stand and walk when he was two years old, though it wasn't until he arrived in the United States in 2010 that he was medically treated and diagnosed with polio. Aung is a member of Sitrin's STARS (Success Through Adaptive Recreation & Sports) Program, participating in wheelchair basketball and road racing.

For more information about Sitrin's STARS Program and the Wheelchair Challenge, please contact Marc DePerno at (315) 737-2459.

Caption for attached photo:

Pictured left to right are Boilermaker Race Director Jim Stasaitis, Boilermaker Executive Director Tim Reed, Sitrin STARS Program Director Marc DePerno, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Regional President Eve Van de Wal, Sitrin President & CEO Christa Serafin, and Wheelchair Challenger Lay Aung (front).

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