POA Client Jim Ramage, AK/BK Amputee

Long-time POA client Jim Ramage and his lovely wife, Deb, pose for a photo with Roger before returning home to Pennsylvania after a week at POA. A bilateral (AK/BK) amputee, Jim does the type of difficult manual labor that most able-bodied men couldn’t do – heavy equipment repair and welding. To do this job as an amputee, Jim says he simply requires two things – the right attitude and the right prostheses.

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Regas Woods, Bilateral Above Knee Amputee: 2016 Paralympian to Watch!

RegasolympicsRegas Woods, brought up in Dunnellon, a small agricultural area in northern Florida, perpetually defied expectations. Born with a congenital anomaly that prevented the proper growth and development of his legs, the little boy who’s mother was told he would never walk is a paralympic champion with the 2016 paralympic games on his agenda.

When Regas was 2 years old, determined to give him the best chance at a normal life with least amount of limitations, his mother, Deborah, made the difficult decision to amputate both his legs above the knee. She always had faith in his abilities, and with her love and encouragement, Regas learned to walk on prosthetic legs. While in elementary school, known as the kid with the cool legs, Regas had many friends. However, the middle school years were rough. “Kids are cruel,” says Regas. “The worst feeling for a child is to not be accepted by their peers. It
regasnsnaffects their test scores. It affects their attitude towards people. You develop this anger, and it’s not a good feeling.” In high school he attempted to join the track team but was told he could not due to safety concerns. Although disappointed, Regas directed his passion to music instead. He went on to play in the concert, jazz and marching bands – learning various instruments, including the drums and French horn – but his dream of being a track athlete persisted. As a young adult, Regas put his all into achieving his dream. His can-do attitude manifested itself into a passion that ultimately resulted in his transformation from a troubled teenager to the paralympic athlete he is today. He co-founded the Never Say Never Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping kids with limb loss live positive and active lives. The kids inspire him to work and train harder. “No matter how rough it gets, no matter how much pressure life brings, I am using my life as a testimony,” Regas explains. “I want to show how adversity can be overcome with a positive attitude and hard work.” He set his sights on competing in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has fulfilled that dream!  He will be representing the U.S. in the Paralympics!
RegasCurrently, Regas fits training in-between working a full-time job and caring for his children. In spite of the time limitations, he has become an international record-holding runner, considered to be the fastest bilateral amputee in the world. He has also medaled in the sport of high jump. “Unfortunately, I need to be a full-time athlete in order for me to break the record and win a title,” Regas explains. “The reason I’m so adamant about doing it is because when I first entered the sport they told me I had to race in wheelchairs – that bilateral above knee amputees do not run. That I couldn’t compete. I need to have this opportunity to fulfill my dream and show those who look up to me that it can be done.” In addition to being an elite track athlete, Regas is a professional stunt bike rider – the first bilateral AK in the world to perform such challenging maneuvers. Woods has made appearances on the Speed TV show “SUPER BIKES” and done some acting in Hollywood. He also enjoys singing and making music. With the 2016 Summer Paralympic games drawing nearer, Regas is looking for sponsors to provide him with the support he needs to prepare and compete. He’s fast, he’s talented, he has a huge heart and passion for life. Regas would make a great addition to anyone’s team! #NoBoundaries

Career Highlights

2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, bronze (long jump)

3-time USA National Team Member 2014 U.S. National Championships, gold (100-meter, 200, long jump)

2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Member

Colin Cook, Shark Attack Survivor: Moving Forward with Prosthetic Leg

Colin Cook, who lost his leg but won the battle with a tiger shark last October, arrived at POA ready to begin the next phase of his rehabilitation – walking independently. Steve Chamberland and his 50legs.org came by to greet him and offer support. Celeste Corcoran, Boston bombing survivor, also in town to be fit with new prostheses, was among them. Although still suffering from acute nerve pain following the amputation, Colin, an expert surfer in top physical condition, was able to push past the initial discomfort and within 10 days was walking – almost perfectly – without any aids. We also made him a prosthetic leg to use for surfing, as that is a sport Colin is passionate about continuing. Throughout their stay, Colin and his mom met and befriended many POA clients. Peer support is so empowering, and at POA, we definitely have a village of overcomers! Colin has returned home to continue training and endurance work so that when he returns to POA in a few months we can fit him with a running prosthesis. Until then, he will be getting back into the ocean and practicing his pop ups with the leg we built for surfing.You can read Colin’s incredible rescue and survival story in the following Honolulu Magazine article: http://bit.ly/1Qqk5q1

Celeste Corcoran – Stronger Than Ever!

Because of all the great Pilates work Celeste has been doing, the muscles in her legs have strengthened and developed. We made new prosthetic legs which allow her to fire and use those muscles, and Celeste headed back to Boston on Wednesday walking faster, stronger, and with even more confidence! ‪#‎NoBoundaries‬ ‪#‎CorcoranStrong‬

Mixing Playtime with Prosthetics at POA

Micaela, in town from Peru, passes the time playing with POA’s chief canine entertainer, Sarabi, and entertainer-in-training, Kopa. There are no language barriers to FUN! We do our best to make the prosthetic fitting process, which can sometimes be stressful, as easy and pleasant as possible. Micaela gives her new prosthesis a thumbs up, an international symbol for “It’s All Good!” #NoBoundaries

POA Client Richard Browne, Jr., Headed to 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro

Richard Browne won 2 Gold medals and 1 silver at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships held in Doha, Qatar, setting world records in two events.  We are excited to be part of Richard’s team, and look forward to getting him ready for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio!   Read more about Richard, who became a below knee amputee in 2010, and his triumph over tragedy in the Client Stories section of our website:  Richard Browne, BK #NoBoundaries

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