Royce Cowan is is similar to Steve in age, love of outdoors, and love of adventure. Plus, his wife recently gave birth to a baby girl. We heard about Royce right after Steve’s diagnosis through a mutual friend of Royce’s wife, Natalie Matthews. She and Michel graduated from the same high school in New Orleans, The Academy of the Sacred Heart. As soon as Steve and Michel looked at his blog, they were blown away. In fact, I believe that Royce was a motivator for Steve to start The Gleason Initiative Foundation.

We knew we wanted to do something for Royce so he could continue living the life he loves. Besides his family, his trike is his favorite thing to do. Since it’s getting harder to use, a motor was the next step to allow him to explore the roads of North Carolina.

With the money raised by the supporters of The Gleason Initiative Foundation, we were able to retrofit his trike with the help of:


We got the job done. We also told these guys that we are in this for the long haul. Whatever Royce ever needs for this trike, Team Gleason will get.

Read below and check out Royce’s video. This guy rocks!

On September 7th, 2010 I was officially diagnosed with ALS at the age of 27. No longer would I be found in my favorite place in the world, the seat of my kayak. For years I had been crushing life in the great outdoors of Western North Carolina. Now those day’s were through, or were they? I couldn’t accept the fate of not being in the woods all the time. So, I decided I would hike as far as I possibly could on the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three hundred and eighty eight point four miles later and it was all over. Would I ever experience the natural world as it should be again?

On a vacation to New Orleans I lied in bed staring at the ceiling. Thoughts of a way to exercise crept into my mind and it led me to believe that I was in need of a stationary recumbent bike. After countless hours of riding in place I thought, why couldn’t I do this outside on a real recumbent trike? It wasn’t long before I was back out in the wide open spaces of North Carolina’s back roads. I was loving my life again, if it wasn’t for all these damn hills I thought to myself. After one particularly brutal climb I knew what I wanted more than anything.

It wasn’t long afterwords that my wife received an email from Michel Gleason. They were doing what they do best of course, trying to improve the lives of people like me and Steve. More specifically they wanted to know if I wanted anything, anything at all. New ALS equipment, or a vacation, or…….. an electric hub motor for my recumbent trike that would get my ALS ridden ass up those damn hills! Yes! It was perfect.

We couldn’t have planned the timing more perfectly if we tried. Team Gleason was like a magic fairy tale creature that visited us during the night and gave us hope again. Now we are back in the saddle again, literally crushing life, all thanks to Team Gleason.

–Royce Cowan