Archives

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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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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Kelsey Koch – Inspirational Yogi

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Born without a tibia in her left leg, doctors decided to amputate below the knee when Kelsey Koch was 9 months old to improve her mobility later in life.  Always an active child, the amputation eventually caused a curvature in her spine.  When she was 22, her trainer suggested practicing yoga to alleviate her scoliosis and back pain.

“Yoga makes you work both sides of your body. I’m so dominant on my right side, so I first started yoga to hopefully strengthen out my left side.” (Self magazine story)

 

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Jessica Long – Paralympic Medalist Swimmer

Jessica Long

Jessica Long

Paralympic swimming takes a lot of endurance, experience and strength so when a 12 year old girl brought home 3  gold medals from the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece, the world took notice of her.  Jessica Long, now 24,  has been capturing gold and breaking world records ever since.

Born in Russia, Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia; she didn’t have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet.  She was given to an orphanage by her birth parents and at 13 months old, Beth and Steve Long from Maryland, adopted her. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs and learn how to walk. She was up walking 2 weeks post surgery.

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