Teens With Amputations Awarded Ski Trip

The group poses at the American Airlines gate before heading to Denver. Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

On Jan. 30, 14 teens with amputations flew the friendly skies from DFW International Airport for an all-expense paid trip to the slopes of Colorado. The program, in its 31st year, is a project of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in partnership with American Airlines.

Activities included skiing and snowboarding at Winter Park's National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), a large outdoor therapeutic recreation facility. The teens were paired with a volunteer NSCD instructor for a week to learn to ski and how to carry their skis in the snow while wearing prostheses.

A teen is fitted for skiing gear. Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

"As a prosthetist, it is my job to make sure that their prostheses are fitting and functioning well enough for them to reach their fullest potential,” said Don Cummings, director of prosthetics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. “When they are on the trip, it is up to them to conquer everyday challenges and to adapt to new ones like ice, snow and learning to ski. Thanks to American Airlines and other generous donors, each patient is able to walk away with a new sense of pride and accomplishment."

This is the seventh year that American Airlines, an official sponsor of the trip, has provided air transportation for the teens, medical staff and chaperones. Travel was arranged through Miles For Kids In Need, part of the American Airlines Kids In Need program, which enables American Airlines AAdvantage members to donate miles to help provide air travel for children and their families.

A teen takes to the slopes. Photo courtesy of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

The teens, seven boys and seven girls, returned home Feb. 4.