This year's Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenger will soon be given a brand new racing wheelchair worth $2500.
Lay Aung was born in Burma and before coming to Utica, spent 15 years in a refugee camp in Thailand. When he was two-years-old Aung lost the ability to stand and walk. It wasn't until 2010 when he came to the United States that he was diagnosed with polio.

As this year's Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenger Aung took on the challenge of racing the Boilermaker 15k in a standard wheelchair. The Challenge called for Aung to finish the 9.3 mile race in under two hours and 15 minutes in order to win a custom-built racing wheelchair.

Aung's Boilermaker time this year was one hour 23 minutes and 25 seconds!

"It was very exciting and I can't wait to do it again next year in my new chair!" Aung said after finishing the race almost an hour faster than was required.

"I am very proud of Lay's accomplishment," Director of Sitrin's STARS program Marc DePerno said. "Completing the challenge is the result of a significant amount of hard work and commitment, and I expect to see him competing in the Boilermaker for years to come."

Aung's new custom wheelchair is being donated by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and will be formally presented to him at Sitrin in October.


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