We are very proud of Marko Cheseto – a great athlete and even greater man! He ran the TCS New York marathon and set a new record for bilateral (double) below knee amputees – 2 hours, 52 minutes, 33 seconds. And that was his first marathon! Then Marko returned home to Orlando and became a U.S. citizen the next day. What an amazing week!
Rosie, an energetic 8 year old hip disarticulate since birth, was thrilled with her new walking and running legs. “I love them so much,” she exclaimed. “Now i can walk down my driveway easy, and I can switch to my running leg so easy. I don’t want to ever stop running!”
We are also making an arm and attachment she can use to play on her adaptive hockey team. No boundaries for this little girl!
10 minutes after trying running legs for the very first time, Ruthie was already confident enough to take off on her own! Then there was no stopping her!
Shaylyn, who was born with a bone deformity which led to the amputation of her leg two years ago, recently ran for the first time IN HER LIFE – and she took off like she’d been doing it forever! Afterward, she burst into happy tears, and the rest of us (some won’t admit it) joined her. What an amazing, emotional experience! Shaylyn returned home to Ohio with her mom, and the first thing she did was race her 9 year old sister. 🙂 Then she wrote a letter of thanks and appreciation to all the people who supported her, detailing her visit to POA:
One week in Florida started with our first visit to POA on a Sunday. I was casted and fitted. It was then I found out I’d be receiving two legs – an everyday leg as well as my running leg. This was an unexpected surprise.
Day 2 was once again casted for my new liners and tried out my test socket. My previous leg was a pin lock system and now would be in a suction socket. I was told I was going from a rusted, beat up car to a Tesla!
Day 3 I walked for the first time in my new test socket for everyday leg and took it with me to try out for the day. The difference was amazing, both in weight and comfort.
Day 4 was a short day because the blade for my running leg was too tall and they had to order me a new one.
Day 5 I got my walking everyday leg and my test socket for my running blade. I felt like a kid at Christmas who couldn’t wait to open that special present. I just wanted to run.
Day 6 was my final day with this amazing crew. I ran for the first time in my life. I cried tears of happiness. All the crew were so happy for me and couldn’t believe I had never ran before. It was so natural. This week was amazing. They took a process that takes normally three weeks and made not one, but two legs! I want to send a special thanks to 50legs.org for making this possible as well.”
Shaylynn’s mom added the following note to POA – “Thanks is not enough. You and 50 Legs have changed and enriched Shaylynn’s life. You made Florida feel like home.”
#FeelingBlessed #POAproud #itnevergetsold
Marko Cheseto, a paralympic athlete, recently moved from Alaska to train with us in Orlando. He is thinking of training for a marathon in the near future. Why not? #noboundaries #dreamitdoit
From paralyzed to running! We were blessed to witness this amazing transformation as Mike fit Jasmine with the new leg braces that would change her life.
Kelie ran with her husband for the first time since she lost her legs, taking back another ability! Sharing moments like this never gets old! #blessings #takingbackabilities #recovery #movingforward #prosthetic #leg #running #poa #noboundaries
Jaelyn’s prosthetic journey has begun, and it was so awesome that she had the encouragement and support of the new friends/peers she met at POA throughout the week! Born with a rare bone disorder, Jaelyn has spent most of her life undergoing procedures to improve the function of her leg, including limbing lengthening. With a prosthetic leg, Jaelyn was able to walk without a walker for the first time in her life, and once surgery is completed on her other knee, she hopes to run! Thanks to Maria, Harriet, Jack, Jan, Celeste and everyone who encouraged and inspired Jaelyn and her mom during the week! #poafamily #proud #dreamcometrue #amputeelife #onherway
We met Bree six years ago, just a few weeks after the tragic accident that resulted in the amputation of one leg above the knee, and severe injuries to the other. Bree, sitting up in her hospital bed, eyes bright with curiosity and determination, clutched a bright green soccer shoe while we explained the prosthetic fitting process. “I need to be able to wear this shoe,” she explained. “I have a scholarship to play soccer in college, so I have to get back in shape as soon as possible.” Although we knew it would be difficult for an above-knee amputee to compete and participate in college level soccer, there was something in Bree’s eyes that told us, if anyone can do it, it’s her. So, from hospital room to prosthetic leg fittings, to working out and strength training, Bree fought back. The next year, Brevard College honored the scholoarship they had awarded her before the accident. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Bree practiced with the team every day. She even played in a couple of the games. She has a passion for coaching, and enjoys volunteering her time and skills at Nubability, a non-profi camp for amputees. Since graduating from college Bree continues to work in the world of her beloved soccer, as an assistant coach at Mars Hill University. #noboundaries #poa #prosthetics #amputee #adaptive
When Dave Klar lost his leg above the knee in August 2014, he feared that he had lost everything. Dave was working as an apprentice electrician at the time of the accident, and was unable to return to the job. He was also passionate about the outdoors, and heavily involved in BMX biking. The thought of losing the ability to participate in the things he loved was devastating. Depressed, broke and scared, he searched the internet for support and guidance. That’s where he found Steve Chamberland, founder and president of 50legs.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping amputees in need. Dave reached out to Steve and within a matter of weeks, arrangements were made to bring him from Ohio to POA in Orlando to be fit with a prosthetic leg that would allow him to get back to his active life.
Once he was back up on two legs, things changed quickly for Dave. He had hope again. He dedicated his time and energy to rehab and giving back to the 50Legs organization that he felt had given him his life back. Dave went on camping trips with his dog, pushing himself to the limits.
During Dave’s next trip to POA, Ronnie Dickson, CP, a world-class above knee amputee climber, introduced him to climbing. He really connected with the sport, and soon was exploring the outdoors again, looking for new challenges. During this time he saw a post on 50Legs facebook page that was of interest to him. It was about Jeff Bryan, a below-knee amputee fireman and avid climber who lives in Colorado. Jeff had contacted 50Legs for help in finding a source to make him a better fitting prosthesis, and they flew him out to POA. Jeff, a big time outdoor sportsman, returned home with a leg to wear for duty at the fire department and another for pursuing his sports interests, one of which happens to be ice climbing. Dave was intrigued by the photos Jeff posted on the 50legs page, and expressed an interest in trying it. The two of them started communicating and soon Dave was on his way to Colorado where Jeff showed him the ropes. That opened up a whole new world to Dave.
Last weekend, Dave met Ronnie in Tennessee and learned to do some bouldering (see video below). Strong and confident, Dave has come full circle since the accident that took his leg over two years ago. Although he still struggles in many aspects of his life, in many ways he is stronger and much more appreciative of all its possibilities.
In a recent Facebook post, Dave reflected on his life over the past few years: “As 2 years pass after my traumatic amputation from a #motorcycle accident that was no fault of my own, I think about what I may want. After riding to Yellowstone national park on my motorcycle back in 2010 I thought man I gotta get off the road and hike! So I started doing just that. Hiking as an amputee to me is pretty difficult but it’s doable. It’s nice to have people who support me that walk in the same shoe as me so to speak haha. When you fall you get up and do it again!” #noboundaries