Adaptive Athlete: Carden
Carden Wyckoff is an Atlanta native, disability advocate, wheelchair roller, change maker and adventure seeker. She is known for bringing strategy to organizations and she does this most frequently by being able to come up with innovative ideas which leads to creating efficiencies. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the FSHD Society, MARTA Army and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and works in Atlantafor a Fortune 500 company. Local advocacy orgs she is aligned with include Atlanta Bike Coallition, iAccess Life, Illimitable, MARTAarmy and PEDS.
Diagnosed at the age of 8, Carden has a form of muscular dystrophy (FSHD) which is a progressive muscle wasting disease. Instead of letting the disability define her, she instead transforms the community to be a more accessible place. Her strengths are ideation, strategic thinking, activation, relationship building and learning. Carden is a force of nature! When Carden has an idea, she will turn it into reality.
During her free time, Carden works day in and day out to make the world a more accessible place and break down barriers for individuals with disabilities. She contacts local business management to provide feedback on accessibility and has turned into making the Atlanta community more accessible. She provides awareness for the able bodied community to be supportive allies. She documents traveling with a disability to empower those who are hesitant to face the unknown. You may have seen her family piggyback her on the Appalachian Trail, advocated to make the University of Georgia’s Arch wheelchair accessible at graduation, or her brother competing on American Ninja Warrior for her disease. Her most recent initiative has been launching an accessibility podcast called “Free wheelin with Carden” to share stories of people with various disabilities and educate the public on accessibility related topics. Together we can build a more empathetic community and break down barriers.
What makes her disability unique is that she has experienced a variety of mobility challenges throughout her life. From being able to run and play competitive sports then only walking then avoiding stairs and long distances then using assistive braces to walk then using a scooter for mobility then transitioning full time to a power wheelchair. She sees the world thru a wide lens and can relate to a vast number of disabilities.
She’s always thinking what can I do to make the world a better place. While she operates at 100mph and always is go go go, she makes forming deep relationships with her community a priority. She is compassionate, trustworthy and quirky, yet calm.
Ethan van Heerden
Johann van Heerden