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How we Started

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Chicago Adaptive Sports (CAS) began as a result of the founder, Alma Cabacungan recognizing the urgent need in the heart of Chicago for a sports facility dedicated for children and adults with physical disabilities. As a parent of a child with a disability, she saw firsthand the impact participation in competitive sports had on her son and his friends and how many obstacles exist for many to be able participate. Alma had this belief that not only the development of a facility would be important, but providing support to those with disabilities to be able to reach their potential. 

 

She found two other people who had this same set of beliefs. One individual Ken Carwell had recently begun to participate in competitive sports teams. In 2014 Ken had a Hemipelvectomy to remove bone cancer located deep in his pelvis. He began playing basketball in 2016 and has supported the programs since. The third person involved is Dr. Thomas Hurlburt. Dr. Hurlburt is a Superintendent of an elementary school district in south Cook County. Dr. Hurlburt has a passion for serving those who need the support to achieve their goals. 

 

Together this team has begun the process of developing Chicago Adaptive Sports to meet its goals and provide high quality support to those in the disability community. The long-term goal is the development of a world class facility to individuals with a disability. Recently Chicago Adaptive Sports was approved as a 501C3 organization.

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Who we serve

Chicago Adaptive Sports provides programming, support and advocacy for individuals with physical and visual disabilities. Our goal is to develop and promote programming adapted to meet the needs of individuals who use manual or power wheelchairs, in addition to those with ambulatory disabilities, including:

  • amputation

  • cerebral palsy

  • muscular dystrophy

  • spinal cord injury

  • other orthopedic impairments

  • spina bifida

  • stroke  

  • visual impairment

Chicago Adaptive Sports believes that health is a lifelong pursuit and supports programs for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, including injured military veterans. Programming is offered without regard to socioeconomic status, as we believe no one should ever be turned away due to an inability to pay. We support both competitive and recreational athletics and welcome every athlete. No prior experience is necessary to participate.

Meet our Team

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is the governing body of CSA responsible for providing fiscal oversight, helping to formulate short- and long-term strategic goals, contributing to agency fundraising efforts, and providing needed professional skills.

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Alma Cabacungan

President

Alma Cabacungan is a Financial Controller at a Medical Imaging Manufacturer. She has raised four children that have always loved to watch and play sports. Her involvement in the adaptive community began where her son joined the Chicago Skyhawks wheelchair basketball team 6 years ago. She has seen, firsthand,  how important the team has become for her son and the other young people on the team. Alma believes that Chicago needs a central and dedicated sports facility. Youth and adults not only benefit from the physical aspect of being on a team, but also from learning social skills and team sportsmanship.  Alma plans to work towards highlighting the opportunities available to all people with physical disabilities.

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Ken Carwell

Treasurer

Kenneth Carwell has actively worked to provide for the education and care of special education students since graduating from Elmhurst College in 1977. He has had a variety of roles and responsibilities in that time, but all have been with the goal of helping students with disabilities develop the skills necessary to be productive adults. Ken started his career at Proviso Area Exceptional Children as a classroom teacher. He also worked for the DuPage County Health Department in the Screening and Assessment of children with acute mental illness episodes. Most recently, he has worked as part of the management team for Special Education Services Inc, an Illinois Not For Profit.

 

Prior to 2014, Ken was not disabled. On April 1st 2014, Ken had his right leg amputated to treat bone cancer in his pelvis. From that time on, Ken learned the struggles, challenges and rewards that one can only experience from being disabled. 

 

Ken plans to use his experience and skills to advocate for disabled children and adults in Illinois. Ken has played or coached basketball at the high

school, college and adult level. He recently began playing the adaptive sports of basketball and softball. He has seen the importance of the sense of community, the importance of

physical activity and how competition can help these athletes reach their potential in all aspects of their

lives.

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Dr. Thomas Hurlburt

Secretary

Tom Hurlburt believes that the mission of Chicago Adaptive Sports (CAS) can change lives. Tom has worked as a Clinical Social Worker and School Superintendent and is a former All-American Hammer thrower. As a high school and collegiate athlete he learned the importance of setting goals and the hard work it takes to accomplish them. Tom applied many the lessons he learned from participating in sports in his pursuit of two Master’s degrees and a Doctorate in Educational Administration, while overcoming Dyslexia.

Tom plans to work towards ensuring Chicago Adaptive Sports provides the resources for  disabled athletes to

overcome any obstacle in their way. While enjoying a sport they will learn to set new and bigger goals.

 

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