Local youths a part of summer camp that helps amputees
Posted: 07/19/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Steve Krah
The Elkhart teen spent the past six summers at the Amputee Coalition of America’s Paddy Rossbach youth camp in Clarksville, Ohio.
Now 18, Mullen will be going back to camp as a counselor.
“It’s really neat,” says Mullen of a camp that accepts 100 amputees age 10 to 17 and runs July 21-25 this year. “Each year, we get to be around amputees. It’s never really bothered me (being an amputee), but you are not a minority and you don’t get judged at all. You get to do the activities that they do at every camp and everybody is at their own pace.”
Mullen, who has another year of home schooling left in her secondary education, was born without a fibula and had her left leg amputated below the knee at 14 months.
That has not stopped her from being active. She would like to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in seated volleyball or track and field and she participated this year in the R.E.A.D.Y. (Ridng to Empower Amputee Determined Youth) ride to raise awareness and funds for the Paddy Rossbach camp.
According to ride organizer Scott Lane, who lost a leg two years ago in a motorcycle wreck, the 2012 ride has brought in about $6,000 so far.
Lane said the Amputee Coalition picks up the entire bill for all campers.
This year, one of the campers will be Granger’s Gena Keszei.
The 2011 ride covered 600 miles — Mullen completed 250 after missing part of it on a mission trip — over eight days. The ride began in Blue Ash, Ohio, and finished in Tipp City, Ohio. Riders stopped in Elkhart and picked up Mullen on the fourth day.
Mullen is looking forward to being a camp counselor for the chance to mentor young girls.
“I want to inspire them to keep going,” said Mullen. “Last year, there was a camper named Alexis who I was encouraging to walk. Hopefully, this year she’ll be up and going.”
To donate online, visit www. amputee-coalition.org.
Any U.S. Bank location will also accept donations directly to the “I’m Ready Ride” account.