INSPIRATIONS BLOG

Rich Romaine – Inspiring Mentor and Head Fabrication Tech

Rich Romaine was a professional carpenter, having a passion for shaping and fitting wood for functional and practical purposes.  After graduating from Cedar Grove High School, he continued his education at the County College, taking classes in building and carpenter architecture.  In 1991 he and his brother started their own carpentry business.

Then in September 2009, Rich fell off a roof, shattering and breaking his back.  He spent the next 3 months in a body cast.  Defying the odds of his back healing, he was recovering well, except for his left foot which was also shattered.  After 12 surgeries, he was still unable to walk on that foot.  Not wanting to live on pain pills,  Rich decided to have a 13th surgery, this time to amputate.  In September 2012, three years after the accident, he became an RBKA – right leg below the knee amputee.

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Dick Traum – Achilles International Founder and Inspiration

In 1965, Dick Traum, 24, was filling his gas tank at a gas station when the car behind him jumped forward and crushed him between the 2 cars.  As a result of his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated.  In 1976,  Dick found himself out of shape and approaching middle age.  He decided to do something about it – he joined a YMCA and began running, small distances at first and building up to miles.  By the end of the year, he became the first amputee to successfully complete the New York City Marathon.

The experience brought a strong sense of achievement and self-esteem. In 1983,  Dick created the Achilles Track Club, now called Achilles International, to give that same life-changing experience to others with disabilities.

“Somehow, I wasn’t upset. When you lose a leg, there’s no ambiguity. You get an artificial leg and keep going.” (IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders)

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CAF Grant Program – Inspiring Athletes

Jim MacLaren

 

In 1985 Jim MacLaren, a standout football and lacrosse athlete at Yale, was hit by a bus while riding his motorcycle and his left leg below the knee had to be amputated.  Fueled by his competitive and athletic spirit, he recovered and went on to finish the Ironman Hawaii in 10 hours, 42 minutes.  Then, in 1993, during the Orange County Triathlon, he was struck by a van while on his bike, hit a signpost, and became a quadriplegic.  He went on to become a motivational speaker

Bob Babbitt, founder of Competitor Magazine, dedicated to triathlons, cycling and running and himself an Ironman competitor, met MacLaren during the Hawaii Ironman.  It was his first encounter with an athlete running on a prosthetic leg.  He was awestruck at the determination and perseverance of disabled athletes.  After MacLaren’s second accident, when he was bound to a wheelchair, Babbitt and some fellow athletics enthusiasts raised funds to purchase a van which MacLaren could drive with his hands.  They raised more than they needed and Babbitt and MacLaren founded the Challenged Athletes Foundation® to support other disabled athletes in their efforts to remain active.

Bob Babbitt

Babbitt’s belief is to stick with our big ideas, especially when they might seem impossible, and to seek out the experiences that will make an impact on your life and in your community.

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® provides universal access to physical activity and sport through global grant distributions, camps, clinics, mentoring and motivation. 

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Be inspired to travel

As an active and respected member of the Prosthetics & Orthotics industry, Brooke Artesi is always packed to travel – conventions, legislative rallies, certification training for the latest technologies and the rare but welcome vacation – Brooke is always on the go.

“Accessible travel” is becoming more available for people with disabilities – the travel and hotel industry is increasingly aware of the need to adapt accommodations and itineraries to meet special needs.  The disabled traveler community has furthered this awareness by their social activities – websites, posts, blogs, photos and videos to inspire others to expand their horizons.

The Amputee Coalition website has a page dedicated to concerns about airport security and prosthetics –   “ We [ACA] have been working with the TSA to assure that security screening is conducted in a reasonable and appropriate fashion for people with limb loss.  There remain concerns about the intrusiveness of screening, exposure to radiation, and consistency of screening policies for the limb loss community, and this page is meant to provide you with the information and resources for how to prepare, what to expect, and your rights when going through airport security.”

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Jack Wallace – Athlete, Student, Inspiration

In July 2008  10 year old Jack Wallace  was involved in a boating accident while on vacation with his family on Lake George, NY.  His injuries resulted in his right leg being amputated above the knee.

The following summer, Jack went to Camp No Limits with his family for the first time.  He was inspired by the other children to work hard and realized that his limb loss was not a limitation. Camp No Limits helped Jack to stop focusing on his limitations and instead focus on all the possibilities that were available to him.

Jack Wallace with Brooke Artesi - Team Sunshine at Lincoln Park Triathlon 2013

Jack Wallace with Brooke Artesi – Team Sunshine at Lincoln Park Triathlon 2013

“By spending time with all of the other campers who had overcome their disabilities, I stopped noticing their disabilities and mine as well,”

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