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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Reggie Showers – double amputee-double daredevil-double motivator

Reggie Showers

Reggie Showers

As a youngster, Reggie Showers was always challenging himself – he loved climbing on the boxcars at a rail yard near his home in Philadelphia. At the age of 14, however, the power lines hanging above the box cars surged 13,000 volts of electricity through his young body. To save his life, the doctors had to graft skin onto his third degree burned arms and cut off both his legs below the knee. To Reggie, this was just another challenge.

“You would think a kid would just want to give up but … I never once shed a tear about it…There’s a reason why I’m here,” Showers said. “For all intents and purposes, I should be dead.” (

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Rebekah Marine – bionic model, inspirational speaker, humanitarian

Rebekah Marine

Born without a right forearm, Rebekah Marine was an active child but when she entered high school, she found herself targeted by bullies.  The 14-year-old Rebekah became insecure and withdrew from sports and social activities. She wore baggy sweaters and stood in an awkward way to avoid drawing attention to her missing limb.  Today, 29 year old Rebekah is a model, inspirational speaker and humanitarian.  She has defied all odds in the fashion industry and is one of the most recognizable models in the disabled community.

“I lived most of my life without a prosthetic hand,” Marine told SELF Magazine. “I used one in grade school for a short period of time, but gave up on it when it became too difficult to use. I didn’t use one again until my early 20’s when I started feeling pain in my left hand, most likely due to the overuse of it. I realized I needed to look into an alternative to help me as I grow older.”

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