Paralympic athletes share running and mobility skills with amputees in Manchester, NH
Dozens of children and adults spent Sunday morning in Manchester, New Hampshire, running and playing at an event to help those who have lost limbs or have other limb differences to learn how they can be more physically active and fit.
One of the participants, Nadia Kim, 3, who lives in Haverhill, Mass., Trained to use a new prosthetic leg in races with one of her brothers.
“She’s not being held back, if anything, [she is] more independent, ”said his father, Charles Kim, in a telephone interview. “It’s good to see her kiss that.”
The clinic, held at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, was attended by more than 40 participants, according to the Challenged Athletes Foundation of San Diego, Calif., And Össur, an Icelandic company that makes prosthetics.
It also featured New England track and field Paralympians Femita Ayanbeku and Noelle Lambert, who competed as members of the U.S. team at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, the statement said.
The free session allowed attendees to learn how they can participate in fitness, plyometric stretching and mobility exercises, organizers said in a statement.
“The day’s activities were designed to address the lack of forced movement many people experienced during COVID-related lockdowns, which can create life-limiting (or even life-threatening) challenges for people. living with a limb difference, ”the statement read.
Nadia, to whom the new prosthesis made by Össur was presented at the event, was born with a congenital difference in a limb in her right leg. Part of her leg below the knee was amputated after reaching her first birthday, Kim said.
He and his wife, Sarah, learned of their daughter’s condition about 17 weeks after the onset of pregnancy.
They were presented with options, he said. Doctors could amputate part of Nadia’s leg below the knee and train her to use a prosthesis or attempt reconstructive surgery.
The latter option did not guarantee a positive result, and doctors warned that they may still have to amputate his leg later in life.
Kim and his wife decided to spare their daughter years of surgery with this uncertain outcome.
After the girl had the amputation shortly after turning 1, she started using a prosthetic limb. The limb given to Nadia on Sunday is designed for greater mobility than her last, Kim said.
Nadia was thrilled to have her new member and enjoyed some of the running exercises offered at the clinic. Kim said her daughter was already comfortable running while using a prosthesis, but the clinic, however, was valuable in other ways.
“She’s never felt different anyway, but it’s nice for her to see other kids with similar conditions,” Kim said. “It’s nice for her to see other people going through life with prosthetics.”
All a parent wants is to see, Kim said, that their child is happy.
And when his daughter uses a prosthesis, it gives her enough mobility to run with her two older brothers, who are 7 and 5, he said. She also has a 2 year old little brother.
“Just watching her grow up – she doesn’t skip a beat, she doesn’t tell the difference,” Kim said. “She’s still laughing and smiling.”
Nadia loves to dance and is learning ballet and tap dance, Kim said. And she has other ambitions: some days she wants to run a beauty salon, other days she wants to be a doctor.
“It changes every day,” Kim said.
John Hilliard can be reached at [email protected]