Posts Tagged ‘disability’
Matt and Tracy Keil are exploring new adventures after a sniper’s bullet left Matt without the use of his arms and legs.
Keil is an Iraq War Veteran who nearly died in Iraq. His injuries left him a quadraplegic.
With his wife Tracy’s encouragement, Matt is facing his fear of the deep.
“I was nervous because I’m not sure how my regulator is going to work if my mask is going to fill up with water. Am I going to start choking on water?” said Keil.
Tracy is a certified diver. Now, she is hoping this could open up a new world for Matt.
“Always chair, couch, bed, shower, that’s it. So this is a nice opportunity for him to spend a little bit of time out of the chair,” said Tracy.
Matt’s volunteer helpers from Craig Hospital eased him around the shallow end of the pool.
One volunteer said it’s an amazing practice in trust. “Imagine you can’t move anything and somebody puts a regulator in your mouth, a mask on your face, and says ’all right, we’re going to go underwater now,’ that’s trust.”
“Once I got comfortable it just seemed natural, it seemed fun. I was like, let’s go to the deep end right now! I’m ready, I’m ready for it,” said Keil.
“You’re floating in the water and doing something like this let’s you know even though you’re paralyzed and disabled, you can still go out and scuba dive. You can do anything,” said Keil.
Watch this story: Soldier Wounded In Iraq Dives Into New Adventure
Behind the flailing arms, twisted torsos and puffy ears of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Arizona State sophomore Anthony Robles was the most noticeable wrestler in the building.
Robles was born without his right leg. “The doctors didn’t know why,” he said. “Everything else is fine. I just didn’t have another leg.”
Early in his youth, his mother obtained a prosthetic for him. Robles used the artificial limb for less than a year before discarding it.
“I was about 5 years old,” he said. “but it really just slowed me down. I remember my mom made me wear it for about 30 minutes and she made me walk around the house with it, to get used to it. And whenever I could, I’d just try to take it off.”
“So she really left it up to me to decide what I wanted to do and she supported me all the way through, along with my dad. And I owe everything I’m doing now to them. They treated me just like a normal kid growing up. I really didn’t even know I only had one leg.”
Robles credits his use of crutches throughout his life for building his upper body strength and a vice-like grip, which helps him bench press 300 pounds. In high school, he tried other sports, including football, where he was a 90-pound freshman defensive end. Then he discovered wrestling, a mat-oriented competition, an arena in which he competes physically on a more equal basis and benefits from his remarkable spirit and work ethic.
“On one side, I don’t have the balance that these other wrestlers have, so I have to kind of accommodate that and find different positions that work best for me,” said Robles, who won back-to-back state high school championships at Mesa (Ariz.) High. “On the other hand, my strength is my advantage and they really just kind of equal out. I just have to get into positions they’re not comfortable in and stick with my strategy.”
Read more about this amazing athlete: One wrestler stands apart from the rest
The pins are dropping like they would in any bowling alley but here the person responsible can’t even see their success.
The 52nd annual Midwest Blind Bowling Tournament is taking over this alley all weekend, drawing teams from as far as Missouri and Pennsylvania.
Earnest Sherrill has been bowling for more than 50 years but as glaucoma slowly took away his vision he learned to adapt.
Sherrill says, “Guessing game is about 95, about 95 and the rest is just knowledge.”
The guide railings help, lining bowlers up and the rest is just feel.
Michelle Moxley says, “Just trying to align myself and just trying to throw the ball in the middle of the lane.”
Sherrill says, “Toughest part of the game is trying to get it down the middle because the eyes focus when I hit the light. They focus where the light comes in.”
It’s an opportunity these 260 bowlers are glad to have.
Sherrill says, “I’m very happy because bowling is my life now. You take bowling away form me and I have nothing else to do.”
Read more and watch this story: Blind Bowling
Opening and closing a door can be a difficult task for someone in a wheelchair, but service dogs can do it with ease. The dogs are rescued from shelters and are given a chance to help those with disabilities.
They are trained by specially selected inmates at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.
The residents learn job skills and a lot more.
Teamwork is probably one of the biggest things I hope they take out of here. “That will help them in any job as well as returning to their families and community,” said Beth Rivard, with the Purdy Prison Pet Partnership.
Heather Opel hopes to open up a dog grooming shop and train service dogs on the side when she gets out in 15 years.
“It makes me feel really good about myself,” she said. “I feel like I’m giving back to the community because I’m helping a dog to go out there and help somebody else.”
The service dogs are free to those with disabilities; they would normally cost 41,500 to 420,000 each.
Read more and watch that story: Female prisonerd train service dogs
The sounds, the feel, the taste. For some visually impaired pre-schoolers, attending the circus is a unique experience that uses almost all their senses. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus gives the kids more than a front row seat. They’re invited into the ring after a show.
Martha Hummer’s son, Eli, is 3 years old. Martha says, “He doesn’t see, so to learn about it, he has to touch it and be close to it.”
Some parents believe the lesson goes much further. Martha Hummer says, “The kids feel special because they get to come down and actually do something that the other kids don’t do is just a real treat.”
Read more and watch that story: Circus Helps Kids With Senses
Photo: Flickr user Lennda K
Ousmane Ndoye came to America for opportunity. But, this taxi cab driver never thought he’d have the opportunity to give the important gift of his life.
“I’m seeing flames coming all over this house,” said Ndoye, a driver for Denver Yellow Cab. “(I hear) there’s people in the house. I say ‘what?’”
That’s when he says he noticed flames shooting out of a home across the street with an elderly woman panicked outside.
“She was screaming, ‘My daughter, she’s inside! My daughter!” said Ndoye.
Neighbors say Ora Glover lives with her disabled daughter, a middle-aged woman who uses a wheelchair. Ndoye says she was trying to get out of the house but was stuck in the doorway trying to crawl out of the burning home.
At first, Ndoye’s supervisor Randy Jensen says he didn’t even tell anybody about his heroics.
“And, he brings in this bucket and he wants us to collect donations for that family,” said Jensen, general manager of Denver Yellow Cab. “This is above and beyond.”
Some people just have good hearts.I think it is fair to say that this man is definitely one of those people.
Read more and watch that story: Cab driver helps disabled woman escape burning home
Get your tissues ready as master storyteller Boyd Huppert does it again in the story of true inspiration. This is a truly amazing story about an extraordinary man.
We should all be so lucky to put in four years at high school and take away an experience so rewarding we wish it would never end.
It was like that for Billy Steil when the class of 1983 crossed the gym floor at Rocori High School.
“I didn’t want to leave,” says Billy as he sits in the boys locker room two hours before a wrestling meet.
His own wrestling career was cut short by a junior high school injury and concerns about heart problems more prevalent in Down Syndrome kids.
Now, 28 years and four coaches later, Billy Steil is still managing to manage.
“He’s just part of the team,” proclaims Paul Court, Rocori’s current coach.
For a generation of athletes and fans, Billy has come to symbolize the spirit of Rocori. “An icon is a good word,” says Nathan Humbert who wrestled for Rocori in the 1990s.
The only thing that makes him sad is that at season’s end everyone else has to go away.
“I’m gonna miss you,” he says to Dorf as tears well up in eyes. “I’m gonna miss you too Bill,” says the sturdy senior as he locks Bill in hug.
Rocori parent Molly Olivier has seen this before. “He’s extremely sensitive. He falls in love with the team and the seniors mean so very, very much to him every year and he gets upset that there’s a senior leaving, and we keep reminding him, there’s more coming up next year. They’re going to be your new best friend next year.”
Trust me when I say you really want to watch this story.
Watch the story: Land of 10,000 Stories: Rocori is ‘Billy’s Place’
A blind car mechanic can repair broken down vehicles – relying only on his trusty bare hands.
Col Collewijn lost his eyesight aged eight.
He said: “As long as my tools are in the right place and no screws drop to the ground I get along alone very well.”
The motor expert will probably get much more up close and personal with your engine than anyone down at the local garage.
He continued: “I do everything by trusting my senses and my hearing.”
He added: “And I have one big advantage over other mechanics – I can repair cars in the dark.”
Read more: BLIND MECHANIC IS MOTOR PRO [Daily Star]