Airline And Hospital Sponsor Colorado Ski Trip For Amputee Children


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Airline And Hospital Sponsor Colorado Ski Trip For Amputee Children

By Daniel Baxter

January 16, 2011 - A special group of Texas teenagers will soon hit the ski slopes in Winter Park, Colo., for a week, as American Airlines and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children team up once again for the 30th annual ski trip. This year, 14 teens with amputations will participate in the all-expenses-paid ski trip, including a ski program designed just for them. 

Snow skiing is an activity that is particularly well adapted for amputees. Dallas-based Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, one of the nation's leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, encourages its patients to challenge themselves during this experience.  

With specialized equipment, patients often excel at the sport and, in some cases, become competitive skiers. The teens will be at Winter Park's National Sports Center for the Disabled, one of the world's largest outdoor therapeutic recreation agencies.

"The annual amputee ski trip provides an opportunity for our patients to grow emotionally and gain self-confidence by being surrounded with other teens facing similar life experiences," said Don Cummings, Director of Prosthetics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

"When faced with the challenge of learning to ski with their peers, alongside dedicated volunteer instructors, any boundaries they may have envisioned before the trip suddenly disappear. We are extremely grateful that, for the sixth year, American Airlines is generously providing air transportation, offering our patients a truly life-changing opportunity." 

An official sponsor of the trip, American Airlines is providing air travel for the teens, medical staff and chaperones. The group will depart Monday, Jan. 17, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), arriving at Denver International Airport (DEN), and will return to DFW on Saturday, Jan. 22. 

"At American, we're in the business of connecting people with memories and moments in life that are simply impossible without the benefit of air travel. The friendships and growth opportunities formed during this trip can be so important for these teens," said Rob Friedman, Vice President Marketing for American Airlines.


"It's a tremendous lesson as they see for themselves that they can overcome any obstacle in life. Making this trip possible is incredibly important to us, demonstrated by our employees, who as always have been generous with their time as volunteers. We understand the tremendous value of this experience for these inspiring young people." 

American is hosting a send-off party for the teens and their families, to be held at the airline's Admirals Club lounge in Terminal D at DFW. The celebration will include refreshments and remarks by representatives from American Airlines and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, as well as a water-cannon "shower of affection" to salute the aircraft and its passengers.


During the ski trip, the group will participate in ski activities designed to foster a sense of self-confidence, independence and discovery ? attributes that can remain with these young adults throughout their lives. 

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is one of the nation's leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. Admission is open to Texas children from birth up to 18 years of age. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, please call (214) 559-5000 or (800) 421-1121. 

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