April is the third featured model in our “More than a Model” series. Below is a sweet shot of April and her daughter Khloe as featured on our website landing page for 2021 summer launch!
I had the pleasure of a phone call with April earlier this week to find out more about the woman behind the smile. One super fun fact that came to light: after seeing April’s photos on our Instagram feed, a wireless headphone company sought her out to model for them! In addition to her bourgeoning modeling career (!), April has a LOT else going on.
How did we find her?
April has been adventuring in our dresses for some time. Nuu-Muu’s designer, Enid, reached out to her via message on Facebook after seeing her post active photos in Nuu-Muu dresses. And it’s no wonder Enid noticed those pics – April is at her happiest either playing in the water or playing on her bike and her joy shines right through the lens.
April is an outdoor enthusiast in the truest sense. From SUP to mountain biking to trail running, when she talks about being outside, moving outside, experiencing the outdoors – her energy is incredible. She also has a gorgeous vibe when she discusses her inspiring work.
As the woman behind Adaptive Life Coaches, April’s professional life unites her love of outdoor experiences with her dedication to providing respite and support to people with disabilities. Her mission is to teach life, social, and communication skills with a focus on movement and activity in a one-on-one, non-clinic-based setting. In other words: she takes her substantial experience as a therapist to a non-traditional setting and lets nature help with the healing process. And it works!
Many of the people April supports have minimal exposure to the joys of moving outside. They may be limited physically or have behavioral deficits that make activities complicated. She shared one story with me, about an energetic boy with autism. Initially, their sessions required parental supervision due to some aggressive behaviors. But less than a year later, he is thriving in their action-based therapy sessions that involve running to the beach carrying a weighted backpack – without parental support! The pack added a degree of sensory input that really sunk in and motivated the boy to verbalize his desire to wear it – another win! As April mentioned during our chat, most of us connect with the truth that movement heals us in ways nothing else can. In offering movement-based outdoor coaching experiences, April is providing a beautiful option for families in Bellingham and the surrounding area.
Making an [even bigger] difference.
Although already dedicated to making the lives of people with disabilities more adventure-filled and connected, April didn’t stop with her coaching business. She started The AIROW Project, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, providing community-based outdoor recreational activities for those with disabilities and special needs. From her site:
Many people with physical, mental, and/or developmental disabilities are unable to experience recreational activities due to lack of support, access, and equipment. For example:
A veteran who is an amputee may be unable to ride a normal bike.
Youth with Autism needs to be safely guided on a bike.
A teen with Cerebral Palsy needs additional support to access trails.
April is working hard to support the community and bring joy to those who do not have adaptive gear. In talking with April, I learned:
An adaptive bike costs upwards of $6,000 (!!!!!)
Many families dealing with disabilities do not have the funds to purchase adaptive equipment
It is hard to know what adaptive outdoor gear would work for a specific person without trying it out
The AIROW Project has teamed up with Outdoor for All (with their fleet of adaptive kayaks and bikes) and local Bellingham, WA (Nuu-Muu’s hometown!) businesses to host a few special events in the coming weeks:
Saturday, June 19thFree adaptive cycling event at Bender Field, in Lynden, WA
Saturday, July 24thFree adaptive kayaking event at Lake Padden in Bellingham, WA
April’s current dream is to raise funds for both an adaptive bike and an adaptive chair (an all-terrain, off-road hiking chair that converts to a standard wheelchair) to make Galbraith Trail (her favorite) and other Whatcom County trails accessible to people with limitations. I call it Goal Galbraith. If you’d like to support April’s goals or learn more about her work, you can get in touch with her here.
With love and awe and respect,
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