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Carl's Story

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Six years ago, Carl Bylin, a disabled Vietnam Veteran was strolling through The Cove in Knoxville when he came upon our kayaking program. Leslie, a Catalyst volunteer, asked him if he’d like to join the group for a paddle. Excited about the opportunity, he jumped in!

On the way back, Leslie asked Carl how he was feeling. With tears in his eyes and paddle in his hand, Carl said, “This is the first time since the war that I haven’t thought about it. I never thought I’d experience anything like this again.” 

Since that day, Carl has become an active member of our Catalyst community. He brings his humor and his kazoo to our Tuesday night paddle group and has even joined us for some rock climbing and mountain biking excursions.

Because of his impactful adventures with Catalyst, Carl saved his money to purchase an adaptive kayak for our program so more people can know the same joy of adventure her does. Carl’s gift will serve hundreds of people paddling thousands of miles on the lakes and rivers in the southeast.

Your gift will change lives too.

We will be sharing more stories with you and opportunities to contribute to Catalyst Sports through the end of the year.

Start today by donating to Catalyst Sports as we continue to learn from people like Carl who teach us the meaning of community, joy, and sustainable impact.

P.S. We’ve decided to name one of our vessels the “SS Carl” in honor of Carl’s legacy and contribution to adaptive sports!

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