DALLAS - A group of teenagers who are amputees left Monday morning to take on a mountain. They will be learning to ski thanks to a Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital program.
There was a sendoff party at DFW Airport to kick off the hospital’s 38th annual ski trip.
The 14 teens, along with medical staff and chaperones, will spend the week in Winter Park, Colo. learning to ski and snowboard despite their differences.
The goal of the trip is to foster their sense of self-confidence, discovery and independence.
“This ski trip is so amazing. They take us up to Winter Park and we get to learn to ski or snowboard, anything you want to do while you’re up there. Such an amazing experience,” said Cody McCasland.
This will be his third year going on the trip.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have arms or legs, you can still do everything. I swim internationally and I’m getting to go on this ski trip and ski. So you can do anything as long as you put your mind to it and have a positive attitude,” McCasland said.
“What’s hidden is the interaction between the kids because many of the kids have never met another child with their abnormality, missing a leg or something. And maybe they’ve hidden it in school and all of a sudden you’re here with 14 other kids and you’re taking your leg off and jumping in the hot tub and it’s transformative for these kids. They tell me later, ‘That’s when I really came out of my shell and realized I could walk around in my shorts and see my prosthesis and nobody care,’” said Dr. Tony Herring, Scottish Rite’s chief of staff.
Winter Park is the founder of a lot of handicap ski programs.