Here's an inspiring story: In 2005, Pleasanton's Doug Giffin lost control of his mountain bike while cycling down a steep trail in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland. The crash broke his neck, severely limiting his ability to walk, let alone participate in outdoor sports.

But that was then. These days, Giffin enjoys snow-skiing, thanks to sit-ski gear that he learned to use through a nonprofit organization called Disabled Sports Far West. In fact, Giffin has turned his love of skiing into an opportunity to inspire others with extreme disabilities to get up on a mountain, get fit and renew their self-confidence through sports.

Along with his 7-year-old son, Aler, Giffin has signed up to ski April 6 in the Ability Challenge at Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe. Proceeds benefit Disabled Sports Far West, which was founded in 1967 to support returning Vietnam veterans. The group continues to support wounded warriors who were disabled in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also supports children and nonveteran adults in gaining self-confidence through participation in a variety of sports.

To support Team Giffin and this worthwhile cause, visit www.grouprev.com/teamgiffin.

CARE FOR UNINSURED: In the affluent Tri-Valley, we may not always be aware of families struggling to get by on little income. But they are here living and working, a part of the fabric and diversity of our communities.

Some organizations, however, know these families well: Founded in 1972 as a health center for low-income children in Eastern Alameda County, Axis Community Health now provides medical care for all family members who otherwise have no access to health care.

Sue Compton, Axis' chief executive officer, says the group now serves more than 14,000 community members in five locations and over the years has added mental health counseling services, addiction recovery programs, court-ordered programs and a variety of nutritional and educational services for women, infants and children.

To support these worthwhile services, Axis staff and volunteers have organized what they are calling their "first-ever fun, foolish and fabulous 5K Walk & Run."

The running and walking event takes place April 7, and participants are invited to come in costume if they choose. Participants may run or walk, push a stroller or even form a centipede team for this family-friendly event.

The event will start at the future Axis location, 5925 West Las Positas Blvd. in Pleasanton's Hacienda Business Park, and will include entertaining surprises and prizes. Businesses are encouraged to sponsor the event.

Sponsorship categories are Grin Sponsor ($100); LOL Sponsor (Laugh out Loud -- $250); Chuckle Sponsor ($500); Tickle Sponsor ($1,000); Guffaw Sponsor ($2,500); and Giggle Sponsor ($5,000).

Registration includes a commemorative tech T-shirt and is $30 for adults until April 3, then $35. The cost for youth 17 and younger is $15 until April 5, then $20. Proceeds will support medical care for low-income and uninsured families.

The event will take place rain or shine. To register, sponsor, or volunteer, visit www.AxisAprilFools5K.org or call 925-201-6221.

Contact Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.