New Fund for Adaptive Athletes With Spina Bifida

October 3rd, 2022

Illinois Spina Bifida Association logo with the text, "Kendall Gretsch Fund for Adaptive Athletes"

The Kendall Gretsch Fund for Adaptive Athletes promotes sports to Illinois children and adults with spina bifida.

Four-time Paralympic gold medalist Kendall Gretsch has partnered with the Illinois Spina Bifida Association (ISBA) to promote sports to children and adults with spina bifida.

The new Kendall Gretsch Fund for Adaptive Athletes helps Illinois individuals and families living with spina bifida pay for sports-related registration, equipment and travel expenses.

ISBA is administering the fund and will award grants of up to $250.

Kendall was born with spina bifida and grew up in Downers Grove, Ill. She is a three-time Paralympian and four-time Paralympic gold medalist. Kendall competes in cross-country skiing and biathlon during the winter and paratriathlon in the summer.

“I wish for everybody to be active and find a passion for sports,” Kendall told the ISBA. “Now when a family living with spina bifida needs some adaptive sports equipment or help with the cost of travel and event participation, this fund will be there to help.”

You can read more about the Kendall Gretsch Fund for Adaptive Athletics and Kendall’s multisport career at

ISBA is sending fund applications to people on its mailing list who are living with spina bifida. You can contact ISBA at (773) 444-0305 or to sign up for the fund’s free mailing list.

Spina bifida is a neurological condition in which the spine fails to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. It can cause physical and developmental disabilities that range from mild to severe.

ISBA works to improve the quality of life of more than 900 Illinois children and adults living with spina bifida by promoting skills development and independence. Visit the ISBA website to learn more.

Spina bifida is also an eligible medical condition for the Division of Specialized Care for Children’s (DSCC) programs. Visit our “How We Help” page for more details.

Scholarships for Illinois Adults With Spina Bifida

June 21st, 2021

Illinois Spina Bifida Association logo

Three scholarship opportunities available

Are you an Illinois adult living with spina bifida and continuing your education?

The Illinois Spina Bifida Association (ISBA) is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2021-22 school year.

Several scholarships are available and may be used for a range of post-high school adult education, including:

  • Two- and four-year college programs
  • Graduate school
  • Online courses
  • Technical or trade schools
  • Other continuing education opportunities

The ISBA scholarship application is available at  

The ISBA’s three scholarship opportunities are:

  • The Patrick Juris Scholarship is awarded to a student with spina bifida preparing for a field of service that helps others.
  • The Valiant Scholarship is awarded to a student who displays outstanding leadership, goodwill toward those less fortunate and dedication to making a difference.
  • The Mary Mayer Scholarship is in memory of a fiercely independent individual with spina bifida.

For more details about these memorial scholarships, see the ISBA scholarship application.

The deadline to submit scholarship applications is July 17.

For more information, contact (773) 444-0305 or