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Contact the Amputee Coalition at 888/267-5669 or amputee-coalition.org 23 Photo credits: Photos provided by Kyle Messner. Snowboard photo printed with permission of National Ability Center. there, I moved out of my shy stage and became more confident. When I started middle school, I was nervous because I thought many of the new kids would say things, stare or not talk to me. However, kids were more accepting of me. Many of my old friends from elementary school stood by me when I needed them. I met more kids and a lot of them came up to me and asked me about my leg and I explained. Several even thought it was cool! I realized if you’re comfortable with yourself, others will be too. Not everybody accepts me, but I’m fine with that. I think that is normal for everybody in middle school. Middle school has been great; I’ve been able to do lots of new things. I have played flag football, run track and played basketball. I even made the All Star team for flag football this year! There have been dances and cool field trips. My life outside of school continues to be awesome. I was the junior spokesperson at the Limb Loss Education Day in Phoenix last year and gave a speech. Thanks to Shriners and the National Ability Center, I got to go skiing and snowboarding twice this year. I got invited to the Desert Challenge Paralympic track training camp and am getting ready to go on two whitewater trips this summer. I’m excited to be going to the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp for the third year. In September, I will start high school and I am more confident now than when I started middle school. I’m not sure what high school will be like. New kids will stare at me. Kids are going to ask me questions and some will talk to me and some won’t. Some might pick on me because I’m a freshman, but that’s normal. I want to go to college, so I know I’m going to have to study hard. The classes will definitely be more difficult. On the other hand, I think I will have more freedom and will get to experience new things. I want to run cross-country and be on the track team. I hope to become a great snowboarder and maybe train for the Paralympics. I can’t wait to learn to drive and get a job. Maybe I can even be a camp counselor at Paddy Rossbach! Who knows?


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