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Contact the Amputee Coalition at 888/267-5669 or amputee-coalition.org 13

Experience inManyWays

byMichael Amsel

Natalie Brady, 14, of Toms River, New Jersey, recently completed her second summer at the Amputee Coalition Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp in Clarksville, Ohio, and she can’t wait to go again next year.

“It was so much fun meeting new people and catching up with my old friends,’’ Natalie says. “We came away with each other’s phone numbers and we are all friends on Facebook. I love to share stories with the people I met there.’’

Natalie is a multi-talented teenager, participating in sports and performing arts, singing in the school chorus and playing the piano. All this despite being born without a left hand.

Natalie’s determination and ability to overcome a handicap earned her a scholarship to the camp. She says she loves the camp because all of the kids have similar problems.

“At camp, I’m not the odd man out. It’s a real release for me because I’m not being judged,’’ Natalie says. “Everyone can identify with me because they have all walked in my shoes.”

Terry Brady, Natalie’s father, agrees: “She is very comfortable and not self-conscious there. As much as she has overcome any issues, it’s still there. But when she goes to camp, it evaporates.” The camp offers challenging activities that build campers’ confdence regard-less of their skill level. Camp Director Derrick Stowell says the biggest beneft is in exposing the kids to other ampu-tees. “A lot of kids come and have never met another amputee,’’ Stowell says. “Coming here allows them to know they are not alone.”

Tyler Carter of Topton, Pennsylvania, had his right knee amputated when

he was one year old. Now 17, he is a superb skier, plays on the Brandywin Heights High School tennis team and adept on a skateboard. Tyler is in trai ing to represent the United States in t ski competition at the Russia Paralym pics in 2014.

He is also studying flm production and music video and showing great promise, as evidenced by his new You Tube production, “Amps Just Want to Have Fun.”

“Tyler is very mature for his age,’’ s his father, Dr. Edward Carter. “He wa a leader in training at the camp this summer and is hoping to come back next year as a counselor. This was his ffth summer and he just loves it ther Tyler says he tries to be a role mod at the camp and help some of the you amputees who are struggling to adjus to a demanding world. “I’ve always liked helping people,’’ says Tyler, wh will be a high school senior this yea “I want everyone to get the experien that I have gotten and I feel like it is role to give back. Some kids are new being amputees and I try to teach th that you can be whatever you want be. You just have to work hard and dedicated.’’

World Cup soccer star Landon Donovan gave a clinic to the campe and was impressed at their mobility skill level. “It’s amazing what the hu body can do when it needs to and w the human mind can do,’’ Donovan “Their spirit is infectious and it’s really fun to be around them.’’ The campers were absolutely delighted about the opportunity to play a pick-up game with Donovan, the all-time leading scorer for USA Soccer and now a member of the LA Galaxy. “He’s such a nice guy and it was a very

Tyler Carter

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